Cutaneous ulceration due to contrast extravasation experimental assessment of injury and potential antidotes

Erik A. Elam, Robert T. Dorr, Kristina E. Lagel, Gerald D. Pond

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43 Scopus citations


Severe cutaneous ulceration may occur as a result of contrast media extravasation. We established a definitive animal model for assessing the cutaneous toxicity of commonly employed agents and used this model to evaluate possible antidotes to the effects of contrast media extravasation. The contrast agents studied were: meglumine/sodium diatrizoate 76%, meglumine iothalamate 60% and 43%, meglumine/sodium ioxaglate 60% iohexol 350, and iopamidol 370, in varying volumes and osmolalities. Hypertonic saline (950 and 1900 mOsm/kg) also was injected. Agents were injected intradermally into BALB/c mice. The higher osmolality agents produced dose-dependent skin ulcerations. The lower osmolality agents failed to produce any skin lesions after the same volume doses. Hypertonic saline produced skin toxicity in a dose-dependent fashion similar to hyperosmolar contrast agents. Three antidotes were tested: hyaluronidase, topical heat, and topical cold. Hyaluronidase significantly reduced skin toxicity when injected immediately following contrast injection. Cold also significantly reduced skin toxicity, while heat caused no improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • Contrast media
  • Extravasation injury
  • Toxicity
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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