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Emergency Catheterization OK in Contrast Allergic Patients

Procedure may be safe if patients are pretreated

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a history of contrast allergy can safely undergo emergency catheterization for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction if pretreated, according to a report in the Dec. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

C. Randall Hubbard, M.D., and colleagues from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., reviewed the catheterization laboratory records of 501 patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction who had undergone emergency coronary angiography.

The researchers found that six patients (1.2 percent) reported a previous allergy to iodinated contrast including rash, acute bronchospasm or anaphylaxis. All were treated with intravenous steroids and H1 and H2 blockers before catheterization in the emergency department or in the catheterization laboratory. None of the patients had complications or evidence of allergy, the authors report.

"In conclusion, some patients with previous contrast reaction may undergo emergency catheterization without adverse consequences, although the safety of this approach has not been proved," Hubbard and colleagues write.

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