Vicarious contrast material excretion

Vicarious contrast material excretion (VCME) defines excretion of water-soluble contrast material in a way other than via normal renal excretion. 

The most common vicarious excretion of water-soluble contrast material is via the liver, resulting in increased bile density seen in the gallbladder. It can also occur via the small bowel or into ascitic fluid 3. It is not uncommon to see high-density pericardial fluid on a non-contrast CT chest performed in patients who underwent recent cardiac catheterization, and it should not be mistaken with hemopericardium 5.

Although commonly associated with obstructive or parenchymal renal pathology, vicarious excretion of contrast may be a normal variant in some individuals and does not in itself indicate renal or hepatobiliary pathology 1.

Physics and imaging technology: CT
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Article information

rID: 12397
Section: Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Vicarious excrection of contrast material
  • Vicarious excrection of contrast

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