Management of hypersensitivity reactions to iodinated contrast media

Authors


Knut Brockow
Department of Dermatology and Allergy Biederstein
Technical University Munich
Biedersteiner Strasse 29, 80802 Munich
Germany

Abstract

All iodinated contrast media (CM) are known to cause both immediate (≤1 h) and nonimmediate (>1 h) hypersensitivity reactions. Although for most immediate reactions an allergic hypersensitivity cannot be demonstrated, recent studies indicate that the severe immediate reactions may be IgE-mediated, while most of the nonimmediate exanthematous skin reactions, appear to be T-cell mediated. Patients who experience such hypersensitivity reactions are therefore advised to undergo an allergologic evaluation. Several investigators have found skin testing to be useful in confirming a CM allergy, especially in patients with nonimmediate skin eruptions. If a patient with confirmed allergy to a CM needs a new CM exposure, a skin test negative CM should be chosen and premedication may be tried. However, none of these precautional measures is a guarantee against a repeat reaction. More research focusing on pathomechanisms, diagnostic testing and premedication is therefore clearly needed in order to prevent CM-induced hypersensitivity reactions in the future.

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