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Shortage of iodinated contrast agent impacts performance of CT scans

May. 4, 2022, 2:40 PM

There is currently a worldwide shortage of the iodinated contrast agents (Omnipaque, Visipaque, Isovue, Optiray)* used for CT exams for general radiology and cardiac diagnostics. Unless extraordinary steps are taken to conserve supplies, VUMC’s current supply of iodinated contrast will be exhausted. 

  • Inpatient, transplant-related and emergency contrasted CT scans will be performed as normal. Ordering clinicians will need to acknowledge they are taking conservation precautions when placing the order.
  • Outpatient contrasted CT examinations will only be scheduled at Vanderbilt-affiliated imaging facilities before August 2022 with the approval of an attending Radiologist.
  • Clinicians will need to review lists of their patients with upcoming appointments for contrasted CT exams and choose one of three options:
    1. Select an alternative imaging exam
    2. Direct the patient to a non-Vanderbilt facility for the exam (note: there is no guarantee that other imaging sites will have the contrast agent in stock).
    3. Reschedule the patient for a later date (August 2022 or after).

Several resources have been created to help Vanderbilt employees better understand this issue and guide conversations with patients:

As this is a global issue, other health systems and imaging sites are experiencing the same problem. A cross-functional team is closely monitoring the shortage, developing our response, and tirelessly exploring available options for procuring additional supply of the iodinated contrast agents.

Additional information will be provided as the situation develops. The patience and understanding of  VUMC employees is appreciated as we work through these unusual circumstances and ensure we continue to deliver excellent care to our patients.

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