Contrast media extravasation
Trauma patient reporting new elbow pain following a visit to the radiology department.
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There is a diffuse subcutaneous reticular pattern of increased density circumferentially about the elbow, which extends half way up the arm and half way down the forearm. The reticular pattern matches that of the normal anatomic septa within the subcutaneous fat.
The delineation of the normal fatty septa within the subcutaneous tissue by a dense fluid suggests extravasated contrast media, which in this case has spread quite impressively around the elbow, up the arm and down the forearm.
Extravasation of contrast media is a well-known complication of contrast-enhanced CT scanning, which has become more common since the introduction of power injectors which can introduce large volumes contrast material in a short period of time.