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Radiologic Examinations Using Contrast Media

Certain materials or gases can be injected into veins, arteries, lymphatics, or hollow cavities to obtain contrast with the surrounding tissues. A contrast medium is a radiopaque substance which obstructs the passage of x-rays so that the structures containing it appear white on the x-ray film, thus delineating abnormal pouches or growths and defining the contour of body structures on x-ray. Examples of radiopaque material are Hypaque and Renografin, dyes used in intravenous pyelogram (IVP) and barium (the substance used in gastrointestinal series). Some of the more common radiographic examinations which use contrast media are:

  1. Angiography
    The radiographic study of the vascular system
    1. Cerebral angiogram
      X-ray of the vessels of the brain
    2. Cardiac angiogram
      X-ray showing the functions of the heart and large blood vessels
    3. Lymphangiogram
      X-ray study of the vessels of the lymphatic system
    4. Arteriography
      X-ray examination of the arteries
    5. Venography:
      X-ray examination of the veins
  2. Urography
    Radiologic study of the urinary tract
  3. Urogram (Pyelogram)
    X-ray of the kidney and ureter with emphasis on the pelvis of the kidney by intravenous injection of a contrast medium
  4. Cystogram
    X-ray of the urinary bladder by intravenous injection of a contrast medium
  5. IVP (Intravenous Pyelography)
    A succession of x-ray films of the urinary tract following the injection into a vein of an iodine-containing substance which is collected by the kidneys, passing into the ureters and subsequently the bladder, allowing the study of urinary tract function (also known as Intravenous Urography, IVU)
  6. Retrograde Urography; (Retrograde Pyelography)
    Examination of the ureter and renal collection structures by means of installation of contrast material through a ureteral catheter passed through a cystoscope into the bladder and ureter
  7. Bronchography
    The radiographic study of the bronchi of the lung
  8. Bronchogram
    an x-ray of the bronchial system
  9. Upper GI Series or Barium Swallow
    X-ray studies, following ingestion of barium, of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and small intestine
  10. Lower GI Series or Barium Enema
    X-ray studies, following rectal injection of the barium, of the large bowel
  11. Cholecystography
    Radiologic study of the function of the gallbladder and bile ducts after an opaque medium has been introduced either orally or intravenously
    1. Cholangiogram
      X-ray of the extrahepatic bile ducts
    2. Cholecystogram
      X-ray of the gallbladder
  12. Infusion Nephrotomography
    Radiologic visualization of the kidney by tomography after intravenous introduction of contrast medium
  13. Myelography
    Radiologic study of the spinal cord
  14. Salpingography
    Radiologic study of the uterus and fallopian tubes
  15. Sialography
    Radiologic study of the salivary ducts
  16. Pneumocolon
    X-ray examination of the colon in which air and barium are used as contrast materials; also know as double contrast enema and air contrast enema