The effect of a low–osmolar radiographic contrast medium on in vivo and postmortem renal size

Lilach O. Lerman, Michael D. Bentley, Malcolm R. Bell, John A. Rumberger, Patrick F. Sheedy, J. Carlos Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


High osmolar radiographic contrast media (CM) are known to cause an increase in renal size. To examine the effect of low-osmolar CM on renal size, 14 anesthetized dogs received 12 intravenous bolus injections of 0.5 mL/kg iohexol (541 mOsm/L). The postmortem renal, cortical, and medullary volumes were determined by fluid displacement. Renal volumes of 18 control dogs were determined similarly. The mean (± SEM) postmortem renal volumes were 66.1 ± 2.2 mL for the CM group and 52.3 ± 3.3 mL for the control group (P = 0.003), whereas the cortical and medullary volumes were similar. Six dogs were also scanned by fast computerized tomography before and after iohexol administration. The in vivo whole renal and medullary volumes enlarged from 67.4 ± 3.0 to 77.1 ± 2.8 mL (P = 0.006), and from 28.5 ± 2.0 to 35.1 ± 1.1 mL (P = 0.026), respectively, while the cortical volume remained unaltered. These results suggest that even low osmolar CM may significantly increase renal volume, probably by causing tubular expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-997
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991


  • Constrast media
  • Cortical volume
  • Iohexol
  • Medulary volume
  • Renal volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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