Adverse reactions to ionic and nonionic contrast media. A report from the Japanese Committee on the Safety of Contrast Media

Radiology. 1990 Jun;175(3):621-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.175.3.2343107.


A large-scale (337,647 cases), nationwide comparative clinical study in Japan on adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to high-osmolar ionic contrast media and low-osmolar nonionic contrast media was performed prospectively. Ionic contrast media were administered in 169,284 cases (50.1%) and nonionic contrast media in 168,363 cases (49.9%). The overall prevalence of ADRs was 12.66% in the ionic contrast media group and 3.13% in the nonionic contrast media group. Severe ADRs occurred in 0.22% of the ionic and 0.04% of the nonionic contrast media examinations. One death occurred in each group, but a causal relationship to the contrast medium could not be established. It is concluded that nonionic contrast media significantly reduce the frequency of severe and potentially life-threatening ADRs to contrast media at all levels of risk and that use of these media represents the most effective means of increasing the safety of contrast media examinations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rabbits
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Urography


  • Contrast Media