Contrast reaction

Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463

Hi all. I've been having another little breakfrom this forum so I guess I'll be catching up for weeks.

I am currently in the middle of a contrast medium reaction so naturally I thought of you (all).

Hot red slightly itchy skin on the head, shoulders and chest. Also red down to the waist. Some swelling on the face. Double chin and eyes part closed. Heart rate 107. Temperature 37.8C

The scan was at 11am and itis now nearly 11:30pm.

I have previously questioned the scanning protocol that I should be on. If everything is ok this time I will be happy with the yearly ultrasound that is recommended.

I had a ct scan without contrast in June. There was a thin shadowed area at the bottom of the renal bed that was assumed to be scarring. An ultrasound was arranged for last week to check this but but they could not find anything at all, not even the spot they were supposed to be checking.

So another ct scan was recommended to check properly. It was probably unnecessary for the reason givem, but I was actually pleased to get it done.

All's well that ends weell, I guess, but in future I will be reluctant to get the contrast without a very good reason...

Like peeing blood.



  • AnnissaP
    AnnissaP Member Posts: 632
    Ugh. I hope that reaction

    Ugh. I hope that reaction stops soon!! No news is good news I guess. Glad to hear all was clear!

  • daisybud
    daisybud Member Posts: 531 Member

    Were you prescribed anything for the reaction or just ride it out?

    Hope it is getting better.  



  • Hd67xlch
    Hd67xlch Member Posts: 151 Member
    I only get half a dose...........

    I had my 6 month scans yesterday and I always get the hot flash when the  IV  contrast is shot in my arm. I always drink at least a quart of water in the 2 hours before the scans and then drink at least a quart afterwards to flush the contrast out of my kidney, I also only get half the normal dose, due to GFR only in the 50s and creatine at 1.4.  It sounds like your allergic to the contrast and a full dose is too much, good luck.

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    daisybud said:


    Were you prescribed anything for the reaction or just ride it out?

    Hope it is getting better.  



    After hours

    Hi Daisy,

    At first I thought it was just from dehydration and some sun on my face. By the time it got worse and I realised what it was it was 5:30pm.  Now it is 2:30pm and still not cleared up yet, though it is a lot better. I still have swelling but my skin is not so hot to touch.


  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    edited December 2017 #6
    Cruel to be Kind

    It's interesting that medical science must harm us to help us.

    If all goes well this should be my last ct scan for a very long time so maybe the next one will go better. I like the half dose idea. My eGFR was 61 so not much better than yours.

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760
    edited December 2017 #7
    They can...

     They can pre-medicate you before you get contrast. There's a special series of meds.  At any rate: It's really important you let your physician and the imaging folks know what's happened ASAP. 

    As for it being an "allergic reaction," with the CT contrast, what generally looks like a typical allergic reaction isn't, but even though the mechanism is different, your body's defense system is still saying "AIEEE!" and you still are in the midst of having to deal with it. 

    For my type of delayed reaction, this last time I super-hydrated before and after and that did the trick. My previous CT contrast encounter results of 2+ days of vomiting and diarrhea was considered "moderate" because of the length of time. One day, and it would've been considered "mild." (For the curious, a "severe" reaction is basically an anaphylactic response and/or death - they're nor real generous with their rating system)

    ALWAYS get a copy of the CT contrast info consent sheet. This last time, I requested / demanded a copy, because the last two times I didn't get them. Sigh. I did my homework including getting copies of the previous contrast sheets before this last CT because I was wondering if the contrast was different between CTs #2 and 3 and perhaps that's what caused my reaction (Answer: Not really). The good news was, I was able to see the  detailed aftercare instructions. Sheesh. 

    Basically, any delayed reaction, CALL - either your physician and the imaging folks, unless you have swelling of your mouth / tongue / throat which means it's 911 (or whatever your location's emergency # of choice is). And have that contrast sheet with you (Or however they do it where you are).

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    edited December 2017 #8
    Signing forms

    Hi Jerzy,

    It's now 43 hours since the scan and my skin is still red and my eyelids still a little puffy. But it's a lot better.

    I filled out a couple of forms with my details and history but I don't remember an info form. I probably wasn't paying attention since I have not had problems before.

    I will call them later and at least find out what it was that I was reacting to.

    I will follow your hydration advice next time, for sure!