Transplacental passage of a nonionic contrast agent

Eur J Pediatr. 2005 Jul;164(7):408-10. doi: 10.1007/s00431-005-1659-2. Epub 2005 Mar 30.


We report the presence of iopromide in the bowel and urine of a preterm infant, born 10 days after intravenous administration of the nonionic monomer to his mother. Excessive urinary iodine excretion and borderline hyperthyrotropinaemia were observed in the infant. Moreover, crossing of the fetal blood-brain barrier was demonstrated by detection of the angiographic material in CSF and thus direct fetal neurotoxic effects cannot be excluded.

Conclusion: These widely used contrast media may cross the placenta and accumulate in various fetal tissues in significant amounts causing possible neonatal toxicity. Therefore the perinatal safety of these diagnostic agents should at least be questioned.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Contrast Media / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fetus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Iodine / urine
  • Iohexol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Iohexol / metabolism
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism


  • Contrast Media
  • Iohexol
  • iopromide
  • Iodine