OBJECTIVE - To assess drug reactions (ADRs) encountered by practicing urologists for contrast instilled into the urinary collecting system, and to describe current practice patterns regarding contrast administration into the urinary tract for patients with known contrast allergies.
METHODS - Endourological Society members were e-mailed a web-based survey about their prior experience with contrast-related ADRs and practices for contrast administration into the urinary tract among patients with known intravenous contrast allergies. Chi-squared analysis was used to compare management patterns between patients with established allergies and those without.
RESULTS - An estimated 2300-2500 e-mails were reached, resulting in an estimated response rate of 6.3%-8%. Over 75% of respondents were fellowship trained. Average time in practice was 16 years, and respondents performed a mean of 6.7 urologic contrast studies per week. Among respondents, 32.6%, 14.7%, and 4.0% had treated at least 1 patient with a mild, moderate, or severe reaction, respectively. Contrast-related ADRs were most commonly associated with retrograde pyelogram (50%). For patients with known contrast allergies, 5.4% pursue additional work-up before administering contrast in the urinary tract. Pretreatment with antihistamine or steroids is used by 24.8% and 23.4%, respectively. When performing retrograde pyelograms for such patients, urologists are more likely to use dilute contrast (P = .003), but otherwise do not significantly alter technique.
CONCLUSION - Contrast ADRs are encountered not infrequently among practicing urologists. There is notable practice variation in the management of patients with known contrast allergies, though the overall perceived risk of contrast use in these patients is low, provided good technique is used.
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