post-title Shellfish Allergy Myth http://midwestallergy.net/wp-content/uploads/GraceRyu.jpg 2016-08-24 16:38:45 yes no Posted by

Shellfish Allergy Myth

Do you have shellfish allergy?  Have you been asked this question when undergoing a radiology procedure/study?  There has been a longstanding myth that patients with shellfish allergy will also have reactions to radiocontrast dye.  During my allergy training many years ago I was taught that this is not true.  Unfortunately non-allergy medical professionals persist in […]

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Do you have shellfish allergy?  Have you been asked this question when undergoing a radiology procedure/study?  There has been a longstanding myth that patients with shellfish allergy will also have reactions to radiocontrast dye.  During my allergy training many years ago I was taught that this is not true.  Unfortunately non-allergy medical professionals persist in believing this to be true.  A study reviewing the medical literature for rates of contrast reactions and risk of contrast dye administration to shellfish allergic patients or prior reactions to contrast dye.  It found that severe reactions occurred 0.02-0.5% of procedures and there was no relation to “iodine allergy” or shellfish allergy. (Journal of Emergency Medicine Nov. 2010)

The iodine in shellfish, is not the protein that triggers the allergic reaction, it is tropomysin.  The mechanism for reactions to contrast dye is not clear.  In fact there maybe multiple causes.  So the take home message is: there is no reason to avoid radiocontrast dye if you have a shellfish allergy.

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