Ethiodized Oil (injection)


When physicians are performing diagnostic tests, they often use contrast agents to obtain clear images and to obtain more accurate results. As a radiopaque contrast agent, Ethiodized Oil allows physicians to access clearer images via radiological investigations.

Typically used during a hysterosalpingography, Ethiodized Oil enables radiologists and doctors to obtain a clear picture of the patient's fallopian tubes and uterus. Often carried out during fertility investigations, the use of Ethiodized Oil as a contrast agent should enable doctors to determine whether the uterus has any abnormalities and whether the patient's fallopian tubes are open.

As well as being used during a hysterosalpingography, Ethiodized Oil can also be used to facilitate lymphographies. This enables physicians to take a clear x-ray of the patient's lymphatic system and is predominantly used when examining the lymph vessels of the hands or feet.

In addition to this, Ethiodized Oil may be used to aid the diagnostic procedure when a liver tumor is suspected. Using an effective contrast agent, such as Ethiodized Oil, allows doctors to confirm whether a tumor is present and, if so, how large it is. This information can be used to devise a targeted treatment regime so an accurate diagnosis is crucial to the success of subsequent treatment.

As Ethiodized Oil enables physicians to access enhanced images and x-rays, it may prevent the patient having to undergo more invasive diagnostic tests. In addition to this, images and x-rays obtained with the aid of Ethiodized Oil can help physicians to make more accurate diagnoses and implement treatment more quickly.

Conditions Treated

  • Used for diagnostic imaging purposes

Type Of Medicine

  • Radiopaque contrast agent

Side Effects

When Ethiodized Oil is used prior to imaging tests, patients may experience some side-effects. A certain amount of delayed healing at the site of the injection is not uncommon, for example. In addition to this, some patients report diarrhea as a side-effect of Ethiodized Oil injections. Unless particularly severe, patients may not need to seek medical help for either of these side-effects.

However, there are some adverse effects associated with Ethiodized Oil that do require medical intervention. If patients exhibit any of the following side-effects after receiving an Ethiodized Oil injection, they should inform their doctor or nurse and obtain medical help:

  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Bloated stomach or abdomen
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Changes in vision
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Fainting
  • Cough
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Decreased amount of urine
  • Inflamed tissue from infection
  • Depressed mood
  • Decreased frequency of urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Pain in the side or lower back
  • Sweating
  • Muscle stiffness and cramps
  • Trouble breathing or sudden shortness of breath
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Itching, redness, hives or rash on the skin
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Fullness and pain in the stomach or right upper abdomen
  • Tenderness, pain or swelling of the leg or foot
  • Swelling of the fingers, face or lower legs
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Swelling or puffiness of the eyelid, lips, tongue, face or around the eyes
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness

Similarly, patients should obtain medical advice if they experience any side-effects which are not listed here. In addition to this, patients can report any additional adverse effects to the Food and Drug Administration on 1-800-FDA-1088.


Depending on what type of imaging process or x-ray is being carried out, Ethiodized Oil will be injected into the patient's uterus, an artery in the liver or into a lymphatic vessel. Carried out by a trained healthcare practitioner, Ethiodized Oil injections can be administered fairly slowly and may be repeated throughout the imaging process.

Typically, patients will be given Ethiodized Oil in increments of 2 milliliters when a hysterosalpingography is being carried out. Depending on the nature of the investigations, more Ethiodized Oil may be used. Similarly, when Ethiodized Oil is administered into an artery in the liver, a dose of 1.5-15 milliliters may be used. Although more Ethiodized Oil can be used if required, 20 milliliters is normally the maximum amount of Ethiodized Oil to be used during this procedure.

When conducting a lymphography, however, physicians will determine how much Ethiodized Oil should be used based on the area being investigated and the age of the patient. When carrying out a unilateral lymphography of the upper or lower extremities, for example, physicians are likely to use 2-4 milliliters or 6-8 milliliters, respectively. Generally, the Ethiodized Oil should be injected at a rate of 0.2 milliliters per minute or less. Alternatively, a penile lymphography usually requires 2-3 milliliters of Ethiodized Oil and a cervical lymphography just 1-2 milliliters.

When using Ethiodized Oil to carry out a lymphography on pediatric patients, however, a lower dose should be used. Typically, 1-6 milliliters is administered to pediatric patients but their dose should take their weight into account. Generally, 0.25 milliliters of Ethiodized Oil per kg of bodyweight is considered to be the maximum dose for pediatric patients.

Although these are average doses of Ethiodized Oil, physicians will determine how much of the contrast agent should be used while the imaging procedure is being carried out. Generally, doctors will use the minimum amount of Ethiodized Oil possible, providing they are still able to access accurate x-rays and images.

As Ethiodized Oil is administered in a clinical setting by a healthcare practitioner, patients will not have to calculate their own dose of this medicine.

Potential Drug Interactions

Due to the possibility of a drug interaction occurring, patients may not be given an Ethiodized Oil injection if they are also taking Metformin. Patients should also tell their doctor if they are using any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and/or supplements so that the possibility of drug interactions can be ruled out.


Before undergoing any diagnostic tests, patients should discuss their medical history with their physician. There are some conditions which may affect the use of Ethiodized Oil injections and these may include:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Advanced lung disease
  • Radiation therapy in the affected area
  • Advanced neoplastic disease, with expected lymphatic obstruction
  • Right-to-left cardiac shunt
  • Dilated bile ducts without external drainage
  • Portal hypertension
  • Recent surgery on the lymphatic system or interrupting the lymphatic system
  • Thyroid problems, such as an overactive thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
  • Bleeding
  • Trauma
  • Pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Inflammation of the cervix (Endocervicitis)
  • During pre or postmenstrual timeframe
  • Asthma
  • Conization or curettage within thirty days
  • Allergy to iodinated contrast agents
  • Cervical erosion
  • Bleeding in the uterus

If the patient is pregnant, Ethiodized Oil injections should not be used in order to carry out a hysterosalpingography, lymphography or liver tumor investigation. When administered to a pregnant patient, there is a risk that iodine could be transferred to the fetus and cause harm. Due to this, patients should notify their physician if they suspect they are pregnant prior to any imaging tests being carried out.

Generally, patients are advised not to breastfeed after receiving an injection of Ethiodized Oil. In some cases, the iodine present in Ethiodized Oil could be passed to the infant and may cause harm. If patients are breastfeeding, they should seek advice from their physician and determine when the Ethiodized Oil will have passed through their system.

When Ethiodized Oil injections are administered, the patient should be monitored at all times. This will ensure that the appropriate amount of contrast agent is used and that the imaging process can be suspended if a blockage or complication is identified.

Following the administration of an Ethiodized Oil injection and the subsequent imaging tests, patients may be instructed to undergo another imaging test 24-48 hours after the initial one. This will enable physicians to see if there is any Ethiodized Oil left in the patient's system and, if so, where it is. In addition to this, patients may need to undergo blood tests following the procedure in order to determine whether the Ethiodized Oil has had any lasting effects on the patient.

In some cases, Ethiodized Oil injections could cause the patient to suffer a pulmonary embolism. Patients should notify their doctor, nurse or another healthcare practitioner if they experience the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Anxiety
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath (particularly if the onset is sudden)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness

Ethiodized Oil injections may cause allergic reactions in some patients and this could result in anaphylaxis occurring. Patients should inform their physician if they suffer from any allergies prior to receiving an Ethiodized Oil injection. As anaphylaxis is a life-threatening situation, patients should seek immediate medical help if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Rash on the skin
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth, throat, face or hands


Normally, Ethiodized Oil is supplied in an ampoule and should only be opened when it is ready to be used. In most cases, these ampoules can be stored at room temperature but should be kept away from direct light.

As Ethiodized Oil injections are administered by trained healthcare professionals in a clinical setting, patients will not be required to store or prepare this medicine at home.


Although Ethiodized Oil can have serious side-effects in some cases, there are relatively rare. For most patients, the benefits of using Ethiodized Oil to facilitate imaging tests far outweigh the risks. By disclosing their full medical history to physicians prior to receiving an Ethiodized Oil injection, patients can reduce the risk of complications occurring and obtain the most appropriate treatment for their individual needs.

When used to facilitate x-rays and imaging tests, Ethiodized Oil enables doctors to obtain clear images. Based on these, physicians are able to deliver the patient's diagnosis more quickly and with a higher rate of accuracy. Due to this, Ethiodized Oil is widely used in the medical community and is considered to be a viable form of contrasting agent for a significant number of patients.