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Old 04-12-2011, 11:46 AM
 
479 posts, read 569,709 times
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My doctor prescribed a MRI with contrast (dye) for an issue I am having. Not sure if I had a reaction to the contrast or a panic attack from being in the MRI tube. I am not normally claustrophobic and was relaxed during the beginning of the test. About 10 minutes into it they tell me over the intercom that they are going to put the contrast in and not to worry if it feels hot or cold.. Ok fine. About a minute or 2 later my heart started to race. I signaled to the tech that I was having a problem -he asked me what was wrong so I told him and he stopped the test and brought me out of the tube. A few minutes later the other tech took my bp (98/72 which normal for me) and my heart rate was 90. She said that racing heart rate was not a normal reaction to the contrast and that I was probably just nervous about the test and I should take a valium next time.

Has anyone had this reaction to the contrast?? I dont want to be doped up next time if I truly had a reaction to the contrast!! I tried to schedule an open MRI to see if that made a difference but apparently you cant use an open MRI for breast exams.

Is there a way to test if you are sensititive to the contrast? Uhg - dont know what to do because I know I need the test but dont want to have a heart attack in the process....
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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You doctor can prescribe a steroid to take before you leave home and another before you actually go in the MRI. It cuts reaction to the contrast. However, if you are allergic to iodine, they can use gadolinium (I think, not sure of spelling) which I have safely used b/c I am allergic to iodine. Or the doc can prescribe 1-2 Valiums for you if it's anxiety. Which I also need b/c I am claustrophobic. The open MRI really doesn't help me much.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Arizona
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I'm allergic to contrast/iodine.. but nothing like that. My guees you just got nervous.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Thanks! Appreciate your replies. Maybe it was nerves. I will have to try it again - maybe try the valium route.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
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I never have a reaction to it except for shivers and one time I swear I could taste it and smell it up for 24 hours after. I have an MRI once a year w/ contrast.

I can't use the dye in CT scans though, I break out into a rash and have to be pre treated with benedryl and steroids a day before. So if you have another one you might want them to pretreat, it may help and i agree about the valium. Maybe you were nervous.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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I just had the exact same thing happen w breast MRI. All was going fine. Contrast injected. Heart raced. Felt a little nauseated. Panicked for a moment and thought about pressing the emergency button but was able to breathe through it to complete the test. Heart slowed after a minute of deep breaths. Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:42 PM
 
Location: NW. MO.
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I had a bit of an anxiety attack during a ct scan with contrast. No reaction to it but it created a very odd sensation which caused the anxiety.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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Havent gone back yet - will let you know how it goes. Not sure if I want to take valium on an empty stomach (they told me not to eat or drink 3hrs before the test). Going to practice relaxation breathing and maybe that will work. I guess you can be nervous without consciously realizing it?

Thanks for sharing your experiences - that peace of mind is helpful!
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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For me, I don't think it was being nervous without consciously realizing it. I do think the dye made my heart race. i.e., it was a physical reaction. It was odd enough that I googled it and I was relieved to find your post and know I was not alone. If you think about it, the dye gets absorbed into your body pretty quickly for it to do its job and allow the scans to continue so promptly. Maybe the racing heart is part of what gets the dye where it is supposed to go. I also had an empty stomach so that might have contributed to my moment of nausea. It's not fun to have to go through it but deep breathing and thinking happy thoughts helped. Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick.leviman View Post
I'm allergic to contrast/iodine.. but nothing like that. My guees you just got nervous.

Contrast with Iodine is used for CT scans. contrast with iron is used for MRI's. People tend to be allergic to the CT scan contrast more then the MRI contrast.
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