Patients who have had a prior allergic-like reaction or unknown-type reaction (i.e., a reaction of unknown manifestation) to contrast medium have an approximately 5-fold increased risk of developing a future allergic-like reaction if exposed to the same class of contrast medium again. A prior allergic-like or unknown type reaction to the same class of contrast medium is considered the greatest risk factor for predicting future adverse events. Premedication prior to administration of intravenous contrast is recommended in this group of patients.
In general, patients with unrelated allergies are at a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of an allergic-like contrast reaction, but due to the modest increased risk, restricting contrast medium use or premedicating solely on the basis of unrelated allergies is not recommended. Patients with shellfish or povidone-iodine (e.g., Betadine®) allergies are at no greater risk from iodinated contrast medium than are patients with other allergies (i.e., neither is a significant risk factor). There is no cross-reactivity between different classes of contrast medium.