Why does my Orthopaedist want me to get an MRI with contrast? (A web chat question)

Orthopaedic & Spine Center


Moderated by Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD

Contrast is just an easily interchangeable term for Gadolinium contrast medium or dye which is used most often with MR scans.  This substance alters nearby water molecules so that they are more visible on an MR scan, enhancing total image quality.  Contrast is valuable in that it helps physicians:

Contrast is injected intravenously and is considered very safe, but the MR Technician will discuss any known risks and complications before you are injected.  This Gadolinium contrast medium is not the same used for x-ray and fluoroscopy (an iodine base that may cause a reaction in those patients with a shellfish allergy).  An OSC physician is always available in the rare event that a patient might have an adverse reaction to the contrast medium.


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