Are iodinated contrast agents detrimental in acute cerebral ischemia? An experimental study in rats

Radiology. 1998 Jan;206(1):211-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.206.1.9423675.


Purpose: To study the effects of iothalamate sodium and two dosages of iopromide in acute cerebral ischemia on infarction volume, neurologic performance, and mortality in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion.

Materials and methods: Sixty-four rats underwent endovascular occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. Four hours later, 16 animals received iothalamate sodium (588 mg iodine per kilogram); 16, iopromide as a single bolus (518 mg iodine per kilogram); and 16, iopromide as a double bolus (1,036 mg iodine per kilogram). Sixteen animals received equivolumetric saline (control group). Neurologic score and body weight were recorded every 8 hours. Twenty-four hours after occlusion, all animals were killed; brains were stained to assess the infarction size.

Results: Single and double doses of iopromide did not affect infarction volume or neurologic performance. Iothalamate caused an increase in infarction volume and worsening of the neurologic score (p < .05). Mortality rate was 25% in the iothalamate group, 12% in the control group, and 6% in the iopromide groups.

Conclusion: Bolus injection of the nonionic iopromide does not statistically significantly affect infarction volume or cerebral ischemia symptoms. Nonionic rather than ionic contrast agents should be preferred during acute cerebral ischemia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / chemically induced*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Contrast Media / toxicity*
  • Iohexol / administration & dosage
  • Iohexol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Iohexol / toxicity
  • Iothalamic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Iothalamic Acid / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Contrast Media
  • Iothalamic Acid
  • Iohexol
  • iopromide