Article author: Turevskaya I.N. When conducting CT and MRI studies, it is often necessary to introduce iodine-containing contrast agents. The drug is administered in three ways:
  1. • orally;
  2. • intravenously;
  3. • rectally (through the rectum).
The purpose of the procedure is the best visualization of neoplasms in organs and various lesions of blood vessels. The question of how dangerous CT and MRI studies with contrast is concerned about patients and radiologists. Professional radiologists at the Diagnostic Center in Kiev LifeScan (LifeScan) always carefully calculate the dose of the drug, the duration of the procedure and the likelihood of allergic reactions. Before giving an intravenous injection of iodine-containing contrast media, doctors ask patients if they are allergic to iodine, seafood, iodine-containing preparations, iodine-rich substances.

What is iodine allergy

In medical circles, they even introduced such a concept as “iodine allergy” – adverse reactions to the above environments. Many radiologists fear a possible specific cross-allergy between iodine-containing contrast agents and other iodine-containing substances. We responsibly declare that these fears “have no ground under them.” The California Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging has conducted extensive research into the specific cross-allergic reaction between iodine-rich substances and has proven that the “iodine allergy” is invented and has no foundation.

Physiological and immunological aspects

Iodine is an essential trace element necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. In the intestine, iodine turns into iodide, an ionized form of iodine. Food sources of iodine include fish, iodized salt, and iodates, which are used as preservatives in bread. Fish is a good source of iodine, since for thousands of years iodine has been leached from the soil and into the ocean. Iodine in fish can be free, as a substitute for chlorine, or bound to proteins. Allergy to iodine is a form of drug tolerance and is not too common. The toxic effect of iodine on the body is due to an overdose of drugs containing this substance. Additional factors may be chronic diseases of organs and systems. Why iodine allergy appears Iodine is present not only in the popular antiseptic for skin. It is a component of many medications that are used to prevent and treat thyroid diseases. Symptoms of an allergy to this trace element usually do not appear after the first use of the drug. Typically, reactions occur after several uses.

Common causes of drug allergy to iodine include the following:

  1. 1. an overdose of medications containing iodine;
  2. 2. chronic diseases;
  3. 3. individual intolerance.
Many doctors exclude the serious effect of an overdose of such drugs, since the accidental use of high doses of iodine during the day is neutralized by the thyroid gland. Therefore, the body practically does not suffer from the toxic effects of this microelement. In the presence of chronic diseases, it is strictly forbidden to independently use iodine-containing drugs. Due to metabolic problems, this microelement will not be fully absorbed, which will lead to the development of intolerance. Pure allergies can occur when conjugated antigens are formed in the body. They lead to a specific reaction of the immune system. Any means containing iodine can cause such processes. This involves not only a pure trace element, but also all substances with its presence.

These funds include:

  1. 1. alcohol solution of iodine – this common drug is available in every medicine cabinet and is actively used to treat wounds;
  2. 2. Lugol’s solution – this remedy is often prescribed by doctors for acute respiratory viral infections and tonsillitis;
  3. 3. drugs for the prevention of iodine deficiency and therapy of thyroid diseases – these include iodomarin, L-thyroxine, etc.
  4. 4. drugs for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia – it can be sedacoron and amiodarone;
  5. 5. contrast agents – can be used during radiography, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography.
Contrast agents are of particular danger, since they involve intravenous administration. In addition, such products contain quite a lot of trace elements dangerous for allergy sufferers. If a person has an increased sensitivity to this substance, it is imperative to inform the doctor about this. In very sensitive people, allergies can be the result of eating certain foods. These include sea kale, iodized salt, seafood. However, such cases are rare, since the concentration of the trace element in food products is not very good.