Answer to Question #7991 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
Category: Nuclear Medicine Patient Issues
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
No radioactive material is administered for MRI scans or computerized tomography (CT or CAT) scans. Both exams usually include an injection or the drinking of a contrast solution. The contrast solution for CT scans contains nonradioactive iodine; the staff ask patients if they are allergic to iodine so that they can be medicated against an allergic reaction. Sometimes people think that they are being administered radioactive iodine.
The contrast solution used in MRI is not radioactive. But the word "gadolinium" sounds radioactive. MRI makes images like CT scans, but they do not use radiation to make the image.
You can get the records or ask the doctor again if there were any nuclear medicine exams involved and what the material was that was given to your father. Most nuclear medicine injections decay rapidly so there is little left the next day from decay and by elimination of the material from the body by urinating.
Marcia Hartman, MS