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Contrast reaction-current concepts

Review article: Acute serious and fatal reactions to contrast media: our current understanding.
Morcos SK
Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK.
Serious or fatal reactions to a contrast medium (CM) are unpredictable but fortunately rare. History of serious reaction to CM, bronchial asthma or multiple allergies increases the incidence of serious reactions by a factor of 5. Serious or fatal reaction to CM could be due to direct effect on basophils and mast cells or IgE mediated (type 1 hypersensitivity reaction). Activation of the kinin system leading to the formation of bradykinin could also be involved. Complement activation is unlikely to be a primary factor in initiating a serious reaction to CM. Avoiding CM administration in patients at high risk of serious reaction is advisable, but if the administration is deemed essential all precautions should be implemented and measures to treat serious reactions should be readily available. Oxygen supplementation, intravenous administration of physiological fluids and intramuscular injection of 0.5 ml adrenalin (1:1000) should be considered in the first line management of acute anaphylaxis. The ability to assess and treat serious CM reaction effectively is an essential skill that the radiologist should have and maintain.
Full article at-
Contrast reaction-current concepts Reviewed by Sumer Sethi on Thursday, September 15, 2005 Rating: 5

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