How Long Does It Take Contrast Dye To Leave The Body?


1 Answers

Elizabeth Leake Profile
Elizabeth Leake answered
Contrast dyes are used in examinations to accentuate specific structures. They allow these structures to be carefully observed. The dyes used vary depending on the exam. However, all dyes will naturally leave the body within several hours.

Contrast dye can be administered in three ways; orally, in a chalky, unpleasant-tasting drink, intravenously from a serialised syringe, or rectally through the use of an enema. Most contrast dyes are iodine based, as it is a suitable material and is generally harmless. In order to examine the gastro-intestinal system, pelvis or abdomen, the patient must drink a large amount of the contrast dye - usually a solution of barium sulphate or Gastrografin®. If the dye is given intravenously, the dye will be colourless. The amount taken by the patient varies on their height, age and weight.

If the dye is given through an enema, it will be drained after the exam. However, the patient may need to use the bathroom several times before the dye has cleared their body completely.

In most cases, the dye will have completely cleared the patient's system within 24 hours.

Like any substance, there are slight risks associated with the intake of contrast dyes. Allergic reactions can cause problems, as well as possible side effects. The most common side effects of contrast dyes such as Omniscan, which is used for MRI scans, include headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Before ingesting any contrast dyes, you should make sure to ask your doctor about the dye, the time it will take to leave your body and any risks associated with it.

Answer Question