Adverse reactions after intravascular administration of iodine contrast media are common and prophylactic regiments consisting of the use of steroids and low osmolality contrast media are highly effective in significantly decreasing the adverse reactions rate. The same type of contrast media are also used for opacification of the biliary tree and the pancreatic duct at the time of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Systemic absorption of contrast media after ERCP routinely occurs. Although the adverse reaction rate appears to be very low the exact incidence remains unknown due to the retrospective nature of all reports. Despite the lack of formal recommendations, numerous prophylactic regiments are routinely used prior to ERCP in patients with history of prior reaction to intravascular contrast media. Moreover, the use of prophylaxis has even expanded to patients with no prior reaction to intravascular contrast media who are somehow perceived to be at increase risk (e.g. shellfish allergy). Recently, the first large scale prospective study reported exceedingly low incidence of adverse reaction to high oslmolality iodine-containing contrast media administered at the time of ERCP done without prophylactic premedication even in patients considered to be at the highest risk (prior severe reaction to intravascular contrast media administration). These data suggest that the use of prophylactic regiments prior to ERCP appears to be unnecessary.
Keywords: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, ERCP, iodine contrast medium, adverse reaction, allergy
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