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What is contrast dye?

Contrast dye is a type of solution given prior to an imaging test (such as coronary angiography or a CT scan) that helps to highlight specific structures inside the body to make them more visible on the diagnostic image produced by the test. Depending on the type of images to be gathered during a test, the dye can be injected into the blood vessels, swallowed orally, or inserted into the rectum. 

If you are allergic to iodine or x-ray dye, you should let your doctor know. The contrast dye typically used during some procedures contains iodine. Some patients have a minor reaction to the x-ray dye, such as a skin rash or itching. The chance of a life-threatening reaction to the dye is very small. X-ray dye very rarely causes serious or permanent kidney damage, especially if kidney function was normal before it is used. However, those who have weakened kidney function due to diabetes or high blood pressure may face a greater risk of further deterioration in kidney function. If it occurs, the deterioration is often temporary.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.