The Role of CT and MRI Contrast in Kidney Function Check-Ups

by | Feb 25, 2021 | CT, MRI

Reading Time: 2 minutes

For people struggling with kidney problems, a CT scan can reveal any underlying tumors, lesions, kidney stones, abscesses, defects, and other abnormalities that can cause kidney failure. 

Beyond discovering obstructions, a CT scan can also act as a guide for kidney biopsies, making it a crucial piece of equipment in treating kidney diseases.

However, many patients with kidney complications find them daunting since many believe the contrast agents radiologists use to boost their visibility have adverse side effects such as contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). 


What are CIN and NSF? 

CIN is a rare condition that aggravates chronic kidney disease, reducing its function in a matter of 48 to 72 hours. People with diabetes, heart conditions or blood diseases have higher risks of developing CIN, though it’s a reversible side effect nonetheless. 

On the other hand, NSF is a skin condition that can lead to painful side effects such as joint stiffness, muscle weakness, and inflammation, all of which can manifest within 24 hours and last for three months. 


The Importance of Contrast Materials in CT or MRI Scans 

This special dye plays a pivotal role in helping radiologists distinguish normal functions of the body from abnormalities, allowing them to increase the accuracy of their testing results by a significant margin. 

Contrast materials are typically taken in three ways: orally, rectally, or injected into the patient’s vein or artery. It does not leave any permanent marks in the patient’s organs, though it creates a temporary contrast in select areas of the body to improve visibility. 

In that regard, contrast agents are highly safe, and adverse side effects like CIN or NSF rarely develop. Nonetheless, people still look for ways to reduce their risk of contracting these rare conditions. 


How Can You Reduce Your Risk for CIN or NSF? 

Patients with chronic kidney disease can test their risk factors by checking their glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Consult with your healthcare professional to give you an estimate of your GFR since the chances of developing CIN or NSF are higher for people with a GFR below 30 mL/min/1.73m2.


The Bottom Line: Reducing the Risks of a CT Scan for the Kidney

Imaging tests like CT and MRI scans play crucial roles in capturing “sliced” images of the body, making it one of the most valuable diagnostic tools to-date. This technology can show detailed pictures of the bones, muscles, fat, blood vessels, and organs, including the kidneys.

Managing the patients’ fear of contracting detrimental side effects when using contrast materials for your CT scan is a must, especially since the misconception can prevent people from seeking the right treatment. 


Why Choose DirectMed Parts and Services?

When determining underlying illnesses or conditions, going to the right scan center is crucial as it will impact your diagnosis in more ways than one. Seeing the importance of taking a diagnostic test in reputable clinics, DirectMed Parts can help connect you with the most reputable sources for medical imaging parts and services. 

We also offer CT and MRI parts and coils that can complete your OEM solutions, so get in touch with us if you need parts or repair services that can get your machines up and running in mint condition. 


Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Send Us A Message!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.