Postponement of non-essential research uses of iohexol

May 10, 2022

To All UCSF Research Faculty and Staff:

As recently communicated by Josh Adler, there is a severe nationwide shortage of Omnipaque (iohexol) iodinated contrast media for use in computed tomography, cardiology, interventional radiology, and endoscopic examinations. The shortage is due to a COVID-related shutdown of one major vendor production facility; a resolution to the supply-chain limitations is not expected until the end of June 2022. The UCSF Health pharmacy department, procurement, and contracting teams are working to purchase all acceptable alternatives and distribute them adequately across the UCSF enterprise.

As such, the Office of Research requests that research faculty postpone all non-essential research uses of iohexol, with immediate effect.

Iohexol contrast studies deemed essential to the health and well-being of the participant by the principal investigator are EXEMPT from this request and may proceed. Contrast studies deemed NOT essential should be reviewed with the IRB before postponement. To consult with the IRB, please use the Ask Andy form or email [email protected].

Ordering providers should consult this document (via BOX) or a radiologist regarding alternative imaging examinations for specific indications.

The UCSF community must do all that is possible to preserve the limited iohexol contrast supplies for urgent/emergent exams for which there are no alternatives. We recognize the impact this hold of non-essential contrast enhanced radiography for clinical research may have on important research projects. The supply of iohexol contrast media is dynamic; UCSF Health will be providing updates to this plan as mitigation tactics change, and we will adjust accordingly.

We appreciate your understanding and patience. For general queries, please email [email protected].


Thank you, 

Harold R. Collard, MD, MS
Professor of Medicine and Health Policy
Associate Vice Chancellor of Clinical Research
Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
University of California San Francisco