Seafood allergy and radiocontrast media: are physicians propagating a myth?

Link to article at PubMed

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Seafood allergy and radiocontrast media: are physicians propagating a myth?

Am J Med. 2008 Feb;121(2):158.e1-4

Authors: Beaty AD, Lieberman PL, Slavin RG

BACKGROUND: Recent surveys have indicated that the misconception that seafood allergy confers a disproportionately increased risk of adverse reactions to radiocontrast media remains pervasive among physicians and patients. One possible explanation for the persistence of this notion is that physicians responsible for radiocontrast administration are inadvertently contributing to its propagation. METHODS: An anonymous survey was sent to 231 faculty radiologist and interventional cardiologists at 6 Midwest academic medical centers. Two questions dealt directly with seafood allergy related to radiocontrast media administration, and 6 questions served as distracters. RESULTS: Sixty-nine percent of responders indicated that they inquire about a history of seafood allergy before radiocontrast media administration. Some 37.2% of responders replied that they would withhold radiocontrast media or recommend premedication on the basis of a history of seafood allergy. CONCLUSION: Even among faculty physicians at university medical centers, the notion of seafood allergy as a significant risk factor for adverse radiocontrast media reactions remains pervasive. Even if no action is taken on the basis of the answer, it seems probable that the act of inquiring about seafood allergy before radiocontrast media administration could lead patients and trainees to presume an inherent risk in patients who are seafood allergic, thus propagating the notion. Physician education with respect to seafood allergy and radiocontrast media administration is vital to halting the persistence of this misconception.

PMID: 18261505 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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