Radiology Terms

IV contrast

What is IV contrast?

Intravenous (IV) contrast is a liquid injected into a vein, typically during a CT or MRI scan but may be used in other imaging techniques. It may also be called contrast media or contrast dye. 


The contrast helps differentiate soft tissues and blood vessels on medical imaging scans. The result is a more detailed image of the organs and structures being examined. IV contrast is especially helpful when screening for infections, blood clots, tumors, or soft tissue abnormalities.