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Patients who have allergic-type reactions to compounds used in diagnostic radiology can be treated safely with commonly used medications, according to a US study.
Research at the University of Michigan shows adverse reactions to nonionic iodinated contrast material rarely cause any serious long-term problems and can be resolved within 24 hours.
Lead author of the study, Dr Richard Cohan, said: “While adverse reactions to iodinated contrast media are rare, they are encountered regularly by all physicians who administer contrast material to patients and some of these reactions will require treatment.”
When injected into a patient’s vein, iodinated intravenous contrast material is readily seen on X-ray, allowing for better visualisation of vessels and internal organs to assist in the accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition.
The study consisted of 84,928 IV injections of nonionic iodinated contrast media in adults. In this group, there were 545 (0.6%) patients who had allergic-like reactions, with 221 receiving treatment.
The most commonly administered medications were diphenhydramine to 145 (27%) reacting patients, corticosteroids to 17 patients, albuterol to 16 patients, ephinephine to 15 patients, and nitroglycerin to eight patients.
According to the study, 99% of the allergic-like reactions resolved completely within 24 hours. This included all 418 patients who had mild reactions, all 116 patients who had moderate reactions, and nine of the 11 patients who had severe reactions.
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