People with a shellfish allergy may be able to eat fish with no problem, and people with fish allergy may be able to consume shellfish. This review will discuss the relationship of radiocontrast, iodine, and seafood allergies. That being said, this individuals reaction is rather suspect. Learn the signs and symptoms of cockroach allergy. You're also not allergic to iodine just because you are allergic to shellfish or seafood. Learn the signs and symptoms of different types of insect sting allergy. This is done to confirm an allergy or to verify you have outgrown one. If you develop a rash, hives or difficulty breathing after taking certain medications, you may have a drug allergy. Shellfish allergy involves tropomyosin proteins as the antigen, having nothing to do with iodine content in various shellfish. Shellfish or iodine allergy is not a contraindication to use of IV contrast and does not mandate a pretreatment regimen. 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. Fish and shellfish contain iodine, and allergic reactions to seafood are quite common, with a prevalence ranging anywhere between 2% and 6% of the population. Reactions to contrast media are likely due to the high osmolar or ionic content of the dye. Interestingly, iodine is also not the cause of allergic reactions to shellfish, which is caused by muscle proteins called tropomyosin. The answer here is clearly yes. Shellfish Allergy and Iodine . When asked the source of the shellfish allergy, 92% answered “iodine.”(3), The College of Allergy, Asthma, And Immunology addresses the iodine myth on its website: “Years ago doctors believed that shellfish allergy stemmed from increased amounts of iodine present in the shellfish, so patients with a shellfish allergy were told to avoid iodine. Shellfish allergies are sometimes confused with iodine allergies. Scientists say this is a myth and that there is no link between allergy to shellfish and adverse symptoms caused by radiocontrast material or iodine. https://acaai.org/resources/. In addition, if you have an allergy to topical iodine cleaners or iodides, you're at no increased risk for reactions to RCM. "Iodine allergy" is often used as a collective term for adverse reactions to these agents. It is a myth that shellfish allergy means it is unsafe to receive iodine dyes. Patients are frequently asked about iodine or seafood allergy before IV contrast material is administered because of a commonly held belief among radiologists and others in the medical community of a specific cross-reactivity between iodinated radiographic contrast material and other iodine-rich substances. Individuals at risk of an anaphylactoid reaction require premedication. In 1 study, nearly 92% of patients presenting to a pediatrics clinic with a suspected seafood or shellfish allergy cited iodine as the culprit. Shellfish allergy involves tropomyosin proteins as the antigen, having nothing to do with iodine content in various shellfish. Documented allergies to contrast media or shellfish should not imply that a patient is allergic to iodine. If you experience wheezing, coughing, chest tightness or shortness of breath at work, you may have occupational asthma. If your doctor believes you need this procedure to make a definitive diagnosis, you should undergo the procedure. Older Comments » Comments are closed. Iodine is often used in medications and in contrast agents used in medical imaging. Allergy to shellfish is caused by individual proteins that are definitely not in iodine-containing contrast. Shellfish allergy is sometimes confused with iodine allergy because shellfish is known to contain the element iodine. Copyright @ 2020 Edge Pharma Allergy. Studies also show that having a shellfish allergy does not increase the likelihood of having an iodine allergy or adverse reaction to intravenous contrast. Katelarius CH. Ask your doctor to speak to the radiologist prior to scheduling the procedure and explain your fears. Discover treatment options and preventive cleaning tips through ACAAI. Learn about allergic skin reactions and what causes them. This myth originated in the 1970s from a survey of … Learn the signs and symptoms of different types of insect sting allergy. M.D., M.P.H., Journal of the American Medical Association, Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies, https://jamanetwork.com/(2) Faber, M.A. My doctor has tried to assure me that my shellfish allergy has nothing to do with me being allergic to iodine. When asked the source of the shellfish allergy, 92% answered “iodine.”(3) The College of Allergy, Asthma, And Immunology addresses the iodine myth on its website: “Years ago doctors believed that shellfish allergy stemmed from increased amounts of iodine present in the shellfish, so patients with a shellfish allergy were told to avoid iodine. Office Hours. For those affected, even a small bite of shrimp, lobster, or crab, can result in reactions from itching and hives to anaphylaxis.(1). Milwaukee (WI): American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; 2009. There is about a three percent chance that if you are allergic to shellfish you will have a reaction to contrast dyes, but this percentage is about the same in people with no known shellfish allergy.”(4), (1) Gupta, R. Edge Pharma Allergy efficiently manages all aspects of immunotherapy for both clinics and health systems. According to the researchers, Allergies to shellfish, in particular, do not increase the risk of reaction to intravenous contrast any more that of other allergies. This may seem like a simple task—it means you must steer clear of obvious shellfish like lobster, shrimp, and clams. Another common question is the relation between shellfish allergy and iodine or radiocontrast allergy. While shellfish allergy is a very real allergy and potentially life threatening, it is not an iodine allergy. I am a 44-year-old man with a known shellfish allergy for more than 20 years. 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