Last revised by Mohammad Taghi Niknejad on 2 Feb 2024

Diatrizoate, also known as amidotrizoate, is an iodinated contrast medium. It is used as either its sodium or meglumine (N-methylglucamine) salt, or more commonly, a mixture of the two salts. Diatrizoate is one of the high-osmolar contrast media (HOCM).


Diatrizoate is better known by its various brand names, which include (in alphabetical order) Gastrografin, Hypaque, MD Gastroview, Renografin and Urografin. Hypaque consists purely of the sodium diatrizoate salt, whilst all the others comprise mixtures of sodium and meglumine salts of diatrizoate.

It is important to note the spelling of Gastrografin, which is commonly misspelt by clinicians, including many radiologists. The usual error is to duplicate the 'f'. This is not helped by multiple publications in Pubmed promulgating this misspelling 2-4.

History and etymology

The introduction of diatrizoate in the mid-1950s followed decades of development of iodinated ring compounds 1.

Diatrizoate is, in truth, a shortened version of the true IUPAC name of this agent which is 3,5-bis(acetylamino)-2,4,6-triiodobenzoic acid, occasionally written as 3,5-diacetamido-2,4,6-triiodobenzoic acid. The salt of this being 3,5-diacetamido-2,4,6-triiodobenzoate, hence its more commonly used name; and it is also straightforward to see how the alternative monicker, amidotrizoate is derived.

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