Radiology diagnosis| Contrast Radiology
It is based on the use of conventional radiology (X-Ray) and contrast agents that are opaque to radiation. Its administration allows to study the digestive, urinary and reproductive systems, and even the body vessels.
What are contrast agents?
Contrast agents are substances that are opaque to X-Rays. This means thatradiation does not penetrate the contrast material and the radiograph can be seen much more clearly (since it is a negative of the absorbed radiation).
What types of contrast agents are there?
That depends on which test is going to be performed. They can essentially be divided into two types:
- Barium contrasts. They are orally administered to study the oesophagus, stomach and intestinal loops. To assess the large intestine (colon) they are rectally (opaque enema) administered. They are not toxic nor are there allergy reactions.
- Iodinated contrasts (iodine-based). They can be administered orally or intravenously. In some patients there may be intolerance to the contrast.
Types of studies by organs or systems
- Opaque: Allows the study of the colon, ruling out pathologies like diverticulum or cancer. The contrast material is administered rectally.
- Oesophagography: Study of the oesophagus. It allows to rule out cancer, diverticulum , impaired movement of the oesophagus, dilations …
- Gastroduodenal -Oesophagus transit: By taking advantage of the contrast passing from the oesophagus, the study is extended to the stomach and duodenum ( beginning of the small intestine). Like with the oesophagus, it can rule out cancer or assess ulcers.
- Intestinal Transit: The study of the small intestinal loops up into the colon. Used for the study of food malabsorption , inflammatory diseases or tumours.
- Post-operative Cholecystography
- Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
- Fistulogram : Introduction of contrast into the external opening of the skin fistula to study their path and possible connection to the digestive tract.
- External percutaneous biliary drainage
- Internal percutaneous biliary drainage
- Hysterosalpingography : Allows the study of the cervix and cavity of the uterus and the perviousness of the fallopian tubes . Used mainly for studies of infertility. The contrast is introduced through a tube from the vagina. It can be a uncomfortable examination , but the information that it gives is very important .
- Percutaneous suprapubic Cystostomy
- Cystoscopy with Retrograde
- Percutaneous nephrostomy
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP): An iodinated contrast agent is introduced in the vein and the kidneys and ureters are assessed through the absorption and excretion of that contrast material.
- Retrograde Urethography
Vascular studies :
- Venography : The study of the veins by the administration of contrast material through them.
- Angiography The study of haemodialysis fistulas .