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Oral Contrast Policies

Policy for administering water soluble oral contrast to patients with a history of prior IV contrast reaction:

  • The oral contrast used for CT for in-patients and ER patients is dilute water soluble iodinated contrast (omnipaque). Approximately 1-2% of this is absorbed through the gut in normal patients. Therefore, there is a theoretic risk of a contrast reaction in a patient with a previous IV contrast allergy who gets oral omnipaque.
  • Patients with a history of previous moderate or severe reaction to IV contrast should receive barium Readicat or the scan can be done without oral contrast.
  • Moderate reactions are defined as: tachycardia, bradycardia, hypertension, generalized or diffuse erythema, dyspnea, bronchospasm, wheezing, laryngeal edema, mild hypotension.
  • Severe reactions are defined as: severe or rapidly progressing laryngeal edema, unresponsiveness, cardiopulmonary arrest, convulsions, profound hypotension, clinically manifest arrhythmias.

Please note for certain Enterograohy focused exams with CT and MRI the patient may be asked to drink Volumen oral contrast. There are no significant contraindications for this agent and the agent can be given safely in patients with reported Sulfa Allergies.

Policy for administering IV or oral water soluble contrast to patients with a history of anaphylactic reaction (life threatening allergic reaction): Click here for Pre-Medication Policy!