Review Article

Emergency Radiology

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 210-215

First online:

Adverse reactions to intravenous iodinated contrast media: a primer for radiologists

  • Saravanan NamasivayamAffiliated withDivision of Abdominal Imaging, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Mannudeep K. KalraAffiliated withDivision of Abdominal Imaging, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • , William E. TorresAffiliated withDivision of Abdominal Imaging, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • , William C. SmallAffiliated withDivision of Abdominal Imaging, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine

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Abstract

Adverse reactions to intravenous iodinated contrast media may be classified as general and organ-specific, such as contrast-induced nephrotoxicity. General adverse reactions may be subclassified into acute and delayed types. Acute general adverse reactions can range from transient minor reactions to life-threatening severe reactions. Non-ionic contrast media have lower risk of mild and moderate adverse reactions. However, the risk of fatal reactions is similar for ionic and non-ionic contrast media. Adequate preprocedure evaluation should be performed to identify predisposing risk factors. Prompt recognition and treatment of acute adverse reactions is crucial. Risk of contrast induced nephrotoxicity can be reduced by use of non-ionic contrast media, less volume of contrast, and adequate hydration. The radiologist can play a pivotal role by being aware of predisposing factors, clinical presentation, and management of adverse reactions to contrast media.

Keywords

Iodinated contrast media Contrast media Complications Radiocontrast nephropathy Radiology and radiologists Iatrogenic injury