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CT Scan Contrast - Allergic Reaction

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

When I first started getting CT Scans for lungs, for other reasons than cancer, I got the contrast the first time with no issues than the second time I got hives on my face so I started to get High Resolution CT Scans of the lungs. The last high resolution CT Scan was 28 Sept 06. My first post cancer CT Scan was 25 Jan 07 and was told that they had pre-meds to would help or stop the allergic reaction I was having, so I took the pre-med, 1 pill 12 hours before and 1 pill 2 hours before the scheduled CT Scan. The technician also told me that they only use Non-Ionic Dye so I should not have any reaction. SURPRISE to all I still had the allergic reaction, 5 minutes after the scan was done. Hives again on my face. I left a message with my Onc Doc letting him know that I still had the reaction and not sure what he wants to do for the next schedule one.

Has anyone else had this same situation? If so, please provide me your story our resolution.


jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I'm allergic to shellfish and that apparently is a relative to the iodine in the dye they use. Before each scan I have to take (2)20mg tablets of prednisone every 8 hours along with zantac for 4 doses, then an hour before the scan a benadril. I don't like the rush (Hey, its snowing here in Fort Worth!) it gives me or the not quite feeling myself after, but part of that is probably the iodine and barium. Jo Ann

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

After 12 CT scans, I too developed an allergic reaction to the IV contrast. It was just upper body hives the first time then I tried the pre-meds (prednisone, zantac and benedryl) and still had an entire body reaction (beet red head to toe before I even got up from the scan bed). It took 3 shots of benedryl and 90 minutes for it to calm down. I go to a teaching hospital and was able to show many med and nursing students exactly what an allergic reaction looked like. Luckily, my beathing was not impacted which is very serious!!!!!!

My oncologist says it is not worth it for me so for my next testing we are going to do a chest X-ray for the lungs and MRI for the liver.

He also told me that the CT contrast where I go is not longer made with iodine so I should have no problem with shellfish. I was nervous to try it but have several times since then with absolutely no problems.

Lisa P.

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Maybe instead of iodine they used what I had. My last CT scan report says "80 cc of Optiray 350 administered intravenously. Indication for nonionic contrast material is: Hypertension." (My blood syst. pressure is about 150.)


nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

ask techs for the brochure that comes with every drug, or get the name, etc. and look up contrindications on Drugs.com or similar site. Ask you onc how much difference-(in what he/she needs to see) it makes if you do the procedure w/o
Iodine..they can read the scan either way..

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Every time I go in for a scan I get pre-medicated with 25 mg of Benadryl by IV before hand, (about 30 min. before) and I have not had a problem since then. Maybe you can request your Benadryl by injection rather than taking a pill.....
It works for me,

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