Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsAllergies · 8 months ago

How can a person have an MRI scan if they have an allergy to the injection?

I don't know if it was iodine or the metal injection I was given as a teenager, but the second it went into my arm, my lungs started burning and I knew immediately that something was wrong. I almost died that day. Lost so much oxygen that I lost my vision temporarily and felt like my heart was going to burst. Next minute, my body was spasming uncontrollably and my skin turned a green/yellow colour.

I'm really worried about this happening again if they give me an injection. I don't know which one gave me the allergic response. It was almost 10 years ago and I don't think my family kept any record of it. I need a brain scan again. I think I remember hearing the word 'contrast' but maybe I'm mistaken and thought it was that because I did some research after my attack and read about people having allergies to it...


Thanks, Pippin. I don't know who my doctor was at the time, which clinic I attended, or even what hospital I was sent to unfortunately. I was living with my grandfather at the time.

Update 2:

I didn't have a panic attack. I had a scan immediately before the injection, and the lady wanted to do another scan with the injection. I have no fear of needles, I was completely calm. The second it was injected into my arm, the burning sensation shot straight to my lungs. My eyelids swelled up. This was definitely an allergic response.

4 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    Not all MRI scans require an "injection", my friend. It REALLY depends on what the MRI scan is for, and what the intention is to find.

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  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    ask your doctor to send you to an allergist so they can check out what youre allergic to, they can test stuff out on you so they can figure out which one it was or ask a relative or the hospital where you had it done if they have records for it

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  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Sounds unusual. Especially such a fast reaction, sounds more like a panic attack.

    The contrast you refer to is usually gadolinium. The most common reaction to that is itchy skin.

    Are you going to the same hospital? If so, ask the referring doctor to retrieve the record of the first procedure. Otherwise you should contact the first hospital and ask for a copy of your records of the first scan.

    I've had 35 or so MRIs and belonged to a group online and never heard of a problem like that.

    Here's some reported research, below. You are probably old enough to deal with questions yourself.

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  • Pippin
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    The contrast used in MRIs is not iodine. Iodine based contrasts are used in CT scans.

    But if you had a serious reaction to a contrast then, depending on the situation, the doctor might recommend either a scan without contrast, or a different kind of scan. (CT rather than MRI, or vice versa, or maybe an ultrasound or x-ray would be sufficient.

    Your serious reaction is of COURSE in your medical records, (even if your parents didn't keep a record, the hospital/imaging center and the ER and hospital have records). Your doctor would know about it, but as an educated adult, it's also YOUR responsibility to make sure she knows about it. (I've had many such scans and 'have you ever had a bad reaction to a contrast agent?' is a standard question on the pre-imaging paperwork.

    EDIT: If your grandfather is still living, you can ask him. If not -- a life-threatening reaction like this is certainly worth doing some hunting for information. Are their multiple hospitals in the city you were in? If so, you can call them, explain the situation, and ask if they have records. (They are required to keep such records for many years.) Your current doctor can also ask look for the info. [You would need to sign a form allowing for access to/release of your medical records.])

    EDIT: #2: Severe reactions ARE much more common with CT contrast. Given that you remember so little about the procedure you had before, sounds likely that it was a CT and not an MRI.

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