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Asked to have cat scan of abdomen and pelvic area to determine diverticulitis. Allergic to shellfish

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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My doctor has asked me to have a cat scan of my abdomen and pelvic areas to determine whether I have diverticulitis. I am very allergic to red shellfish and am concerned about the injection of the contrast material used. I don't think I have an allergy to iodine but an allergy to the XXXXXXX in the red shellfish. My reaction to red shellfish is severe diahrea and vomiting, for as long as 12 hours. So, do I do the test with the contrast or not?
Posted Tue, 27 Aug 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 2 hours later
Hi and thank you so much for this question.

Sorry to hear of the allergic reaction you have to red shellfish.

This reaction can easily can be simply handled with intravenous fluids. All you need to do is tell your doctors that you have this reaction so that they can be prepared to handle any similar reaction if it occurs though it is very unlikely.

Some people mistakenly believe that allergy to iodine or allergy to radiocontrast XXXXXXX used in some lab procedures can cause reactions in people with a shellfish allergy. Reactions to radiocontrast material or iodine are not related. It sounds like you think so, too. It is a false believe!

Be rest assured there is no need to develop so much fear. Even if this reaction were to develop, I am confident any hospital would be more than able to handle it. I will leave you with this link to read and get more information for yourself. This will make you feel very comfortable. It is from one of the best clinics around the world, Mayo clinic. WWW.WWWW.WW
And finally, YES, go for the test.

Hope you find it helpful. Hope it addresses your query fully. Feel free to contact me if more questions arise.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Asked to have cat scan of abdomen and pelvic area to determine diverticulitis. Allergic to shellfish 15 hours later
My follow-up question - what is in the red XXXXXXX used for the cat scan?
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 17 hours later
Thank you so much for this follow up question.

Most IV contrast products are iodine based formulations for CT scans. Probably the red color is added either for identification purposes or some other reasons not clear to me. But if there should be another name you are looking for, then I have never come across it or master it. Maybe you ask your radiologist at the time of your procedure what the name is.

Hope this helps. Thank you so much and wish you all the best as you prepare for the test and management of the findings.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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