Adverse Reactions to Contrast Media

Melanie C. Dispenza*, Anne M. Ditto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Contrast media is a broad term for numerous chemicals that are used for visual enhancement during medical imaging. While they are valuable for enhancing imaging studies, they can also cause adverse reactions that can be severe and life-threatening. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions to contrast media are largely nonimmunologic. Skin testing and graded dose challenge are ineffective at predicting the risk of having an immediate hypersensitivity reaction to contrast media and are not recommended for routine use. Pretreatment with systemic steroids and antihistamines can prevent immediate hypersensitivity reactions and is recommended for patients with a history of prior reaction to contrast media before undergoing any subsequent imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDrug Allergy Testing
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780323497077
ISBN (Print)9780323485517
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Anaphylaxis
  • Breakthrough reaction
  • Delayed hypersensitivity
  • Gadolinium
  • Immediate hypersensitivity
  • Pretreatment
  • Radiocontrast media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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