August 2018

A group of French researchers have finally completed a long-term study on the occurrence of Immediate Hypersensitivity (IH) in patients being injected with Contrast Media (CM). The multicentre study, which was recently published by The Lancet, was carried out in France and took place over the course of fourteen years, with five years having been dedicated entirely to data collection. Due to the rarity of severe reactions to Contrast Agents, 31 centres were involved in the study, enabling researchers to gather enough data for the comprehensive paper.

The main goal of the study was to elucidate the mechanisms of IH reactions to contrast media and to evaluate the frequency of allergy to CM among them. A large group of reacting patients was comprehensively evaluated, using clinical symptoms, mediator evaluation, and skin testing. Secondary goals included the study of cross-reactivity with related CM and of clinical parameters associated with allergic IH.

Given the fact that Immediate Hypersensitivity reactions to iodinated CM have been an everlasting problem for radiologists, the new research has been warmly welcomed by radiologists. Severe reactions are rare, happen within minutes, and are difficult to handle by imaging teams, many of whom often lack the training or experience to handle unexpected severe reactions.

The study was carried out by a large cohort of radiology experts and researchers, including Chairman of the ESR Research Committee, Prof. Olivier Clément and Prof. Marc Zins, a member of the ESR Postgraduate Education Programme (PEP) Subcommittee.

The paper is the first major prospective study on hypersensitivity of its kind and is likely to change the way in which patients with IH are handled in the future.

You can access the paper now right here.