CT scans can curb contrast dye use by 83% amid shortage, study shows

While CT scans have been postponed for weeks or months after a COVID-19-related shutdown interrupted one plant's contrast dye production, hospitals could decrease their use up to 83 percent, according to research published June 9 in JAMA

The study compared five strategies: reducing the dosage of the iodinated dye alongside less tube voltage, weight-based dosage, using unenhanced CT instead of contrast CT if it's safe, a combination of the first two solutions, and all three. 

The research, which analyzed more than a million procedures from January 2015 to March 11, 2021, found that merging all three approaches issued the biggest reduction of up to 7.8 million milliliters, or 83 percent. Some hospitals and health systems have already rationed their dye usage. 

In the U.S., more than 50 million scans are dependent on contrast dye annually to detect cancer and other diseases.

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