Anaphylactoid reactions to radiocontrast media

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2005 Jan;5(1):28-31. doi: 10.1007/s11882-005-0051-7.


Adverse reactions to contrast material are a concern because iodinated contrast materials are commonly used drugs. The risk for adverse reaction is 4% to 12% with ionic contrast materials and 1% to 3% with nonionic contrast materials. The risk for severe adverse reaction is 0.16% with ionic contrast materials and 0.03% with nonionic contrast materials. The death rate, one to three per 100,000 contrast administrations, is similar for both ionic and nonionic agents. More than 90% of adverse reactions with nonionic contrast materials are anaphylactoid. The types of severe reactions seen with nonionic contrast administration were initially predominantly anaphylactoid. With the advent of helical CT angiography, the reactions are now predominantly attributable to cardiopulmonary decompensation. With the widespread use of nonionic contrast materials, adverse reactions are now seen less frequently. Skills involved in evaluating and treating adverse reactions are not as frequently used. Periodic reviews and updates of specific treatment plans for various reactions with the physicians and staff who use contrast material are very important to ensure optimal preparedness. The key to successful treatment is preparation and early intervention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / adverse effects
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / immunology*
  • Risk Assessment


  • Contrast Media
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals