Oral contrast media for body CT: Comparison of diatrizoate sodium and iohexol for patient acceptance and bowel opacification

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a difference in patient preference exists between iohexol (Omnipaque) and diatrizoate sodium (Gastroview) as oral contrast medium for abdominal-pelvic CT. A secondary objective was to evaluate whether there are significant differences in bowel opacification and adverse effect profile for the two agents. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. From August 2007 through March 2009, 300 patients were enrolled in this prospective study after informed consent was obtained. Eligible patients were identified from those scheduled for outpatient abdominal-pelvic CT. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive one of two oral contrast agents in a double-blinded fashion. Subjects graded the taste using a 5-point scale, and data regarding demographics, total volume, and adverse effects were collected. A direct comparison of 30 mL of each of the two diluted agents in randomized order was then performed. CT images were graded for bowel opacification by two blinded abdominal radiologists. RESULTS. Of 287 subjects who expressed a preference, 233 patients (81%) preferred dilute iohexol compared with 54 patients (19%) who preferred dilute diatrizoate sodium (p < 0.001). Ten patients had no preference, and three patients did not complete the taste comparison study. No difference in bowel opacification was identified between the oral contrast agents (p = 0.27), nor was there a significant difference in adverse effects (p = 0.352). CONCLUSION. Patents preferred dilute iohexol over dilute diatrizoate sodium for oral contrast for abdominal-pelvic CT. There was no significant difference in bowel opacification or adverse effect profile. © American Roentgen Ray Society.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McNamara MM; Lockhart ME; Fineberg NS; Berland LL
  • Start Page

  • 1137
  • End Page

  • 1141
  • Volume

  • 195