Radiation exposure

Some people worry that X-rays aren't safe because radiation exposure can cause cell mutations that may lead to cancer. But the amount of radiation you're exposed to during an X-ray is so small that the risk of any damage to cells in your body is extremely low.

However, if you're pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, tell your doctor before having an X-ray. Though the risk of most diagnostic X-rays to an unborn baby is small, your doctor may consider another imaging test, such as ultrasound.

Contrast medium

In some people, the injection of a contrast medium can cause side effects such as:
  • A feeling of warmth or flushing
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Hives

Rarely, severe reactions to a contrast medium occur, including:

  • Severe low blood pressure
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Cardiac arrest
Feb. 16, 2012