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Glossary of terms

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contrast material
Also referred to as contrast agent or contrast medium. Any internally administered substance that has a different opacity from soft tissue on radiography or computed tomography. Includes:

  • Barium or water, used to make parts of the gastrointestinal tract opaque.
  • Iodine in water, used for arthrography.
  • Water soluble iodine, used to make blood vessels opaque; to demonstrate the inner structures of the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters and bladder); and to outline joints (the spaces between two bones).
  • Iodine mixed with water or oil may be used to evaluate the fallopian tubes and lining of the uterus.
  • Sterile saline (salt water) is used during hysterosonography.
  • May refer to air occurring naturally or introduced into the body.
  • Paramagnetic substances used in magnetic resonance imaging.