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MRI's with IV contrast


blackwolf
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on tuesday i will be having a follow up mri to see what is putting pressure on my spine(after 2+ years of complaining, i found a doc who listened and is treating). on my last mri (thursday nite)they found an area in the middle of my back where there is something putting pressure on my spine, they don't know what, only that i is compressing my spine and not allowing fluid past like it should. i have been told that i will be having an iv contrast given to me about an hour before the mri. i do know that it isn't an iodine based dye, but i don't really know what it is, i have been forworned that it might have some "mild" sideffects to it and my doc has ordered some drugs to help me if i do have trouble.

what i am wondering is, has anyone had trouble with contrast/dyes and if you did what happened. i will not back out of this as i really need this treated as the pain and walking issues are being caused by it are really cutting into my life, and i am more than ready to deal with the results of the test(possible spinal tap afterward if the doc thinks i need it) but not sure how to deal with the unknown of the contrast. a little scary on my part, but would love your advise/input....mabey a prayer or too.

ok. i am scared!!! B)

thanks for reading

blackwolf

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Just wanted to say you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Can you call the office where the procedure is to be done and ask them about them more about the contrast dye? Ask them what percentage have a reaction to the dye and what the most common side effects are. Also, remember, it can be complicated because some people with dysautonomia are prone to their body not responding properly so sometimes, the injection of the dye causes a response (either from the jolt of being stuck or from the anxiety) and then you have a spell but you don't know if it's from your body reacting to the stick/anxiety or if you are really reacting to the dye. Try to breathe deep, listen to music, ask someone to keep talking to you....whatever will keep you calm.

Web MD might offer more explanation on the dye if you do a search for it.

Good luck and I hope they find some answers for you!

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i've had the dye several times (though i'm not remembering exactly what it is, but am pretty certain it's what you're referring to) and have never had a problem. of course we're all different but as someone who has had some whacky reactions to some "benign" things at times i've done okay with this one....

it's understandible that you're anxious in re: to waiting for the test, the test itself, & the results but hopefully it will bring some answers & direction that will then bring some relief. you'll definitely be in my thoughts & prayers! (and of course, let us know how it goes when you're able!)

B) melissa

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I have had several MRIs, three with contrast dye...The first one I did have a reaction to - pain, the shakes, headache...the ones after that they had me take Benedryl AND prednisone prior to the MRI - both of those I had no problem with.

I would definitely take something like this if you can if there is any chance that you feel something may happen. Neither benedryl or prednisone is going to hurt you for one dose.

I would talk to your dr about it - it surely wouldn't hurt, especially if you are so concerned.

Good luck - Let us know how it goes!

~Lisa

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You should be o.k. as long as your aren't allergic to eggs,diabetic,asthmatic, or prone to panic of small spaces,needles etcc.. I have had lots of mri's Ct's with and without die. As an asthmatic I wheeze a little. They give me benadryl and a breathing treatment first.

On a pecular note the first unexplained sycope episode for me was in 1998. I had been cashiering at home depot and felt a little shakey, then dizzy. I bent my knees a cople of time to make sure they weren't locked, turned to help the next customer and BAM!! On the floor I was. They said I was out for 2-min. Upon exam they said I was a little warm and tachycardic. They started an I V and then the hospital said I should get a Spinal Tap. Trust me the MRI is a piece of cake. If you need a spinal, DO NOT MOVE FOR 2-3 hours at least. Do not go home and perform usual activities, BE STILL!! Get an IV for fluids and then you should be o.k. and not get a spinal hematoma or spinal Migraine ..

Any way It will be o.k. Ask for benadryl and a valium if you are nervous about your reaction to dye.

Pam

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I never had a reaction to the MRI contrast, and I've had it more times than I can remember. I think they use galadinium (sp?). it's nothing like iodine and reactions are rare--can happen but very rare. If you don't tend to be hyper reactive to meds, then you're at no additional risk than the avg bear.

Nina

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Guest Finrussak

I react to EVERYTHING and cannot even do the CT stuff even with pre-meds...BUT I have NEVER reacted to MRI contrast..its not really a "dye"

Of course check with your radiology place...but its more unusual for MRI to cause effects.

Also do you know that there is a new machine that can do MRI's sitting and standing ( and any position you have pain to get a cause of problem)??? I had one today!!!! amazing...not claustrophobic, people real nice.

My "almost ex" had to audit the company that makes the machines ( Long Island NY) and spoke with the radiologist who invented them...and he told the Dr about my pains etc and how when lying Im ok, so why tests may not show anything...well long story short...we found out where in NJ they had them and I went...Hated the closed machine...not so much for how small a space but for the clanging and banging and vibrations...as a scrawny person it shook my whole body until my heart rate was high and boom...episode...for the closed ones I found that pre meds of small dose antianxiety meds like xanax or serax etc did better than benadryl etc...some dysautos react to benadryl poorly. the antianxiety stuff keeps your nerves down enuf to where its not raising your heart rate intio an episode.

Bring a cd...relaxation tape etc...theyll play for you thru speakers...some places even have a tv you can watch ( in closed ones its via a mirror so a bit dizzying).

and if at any time you need a break, ask...Ive had real nice techs and others who very nastily said itd take too long if they stopped...

the usual procedure is several sets of clangs/bangs ( machine filming)about 30-40 min.. then they inject and immediately do another set or 2. ( another 20-30 min)you may have to hold your breath for a few seconds....other than that its longer than a CT but less risky...at least for ME.

the company that makes these cool machines is FONAR. google them you may find them at an imaging place near you!!!( no, I dont get anything for the infomercial..I am just that pleased with todays experience)

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HI,

I have had a reaction to the CT contrast which contains iodine. But, the MRI contrast did not cause any reaction. I had them slide me out of the tube, I had them inject it as I was sitting so I felt much more relaxed "in case I had a reaction." They were very understanding and nice.

It's rare to have a reaction to the MRI contrast so don't worry.

Dawn

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I have had 3 MRI's with the contrast dye... I did fine each time ...no reaction at all....

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A comment on the "open mri". The quality of the films is typically much less than a "closed" machine. Most docs will only recommend the open machine if you are severely claustraphobic and/or are too big to fit in the regular type of machine.

Fin is correct--the MRI contrast is not a dye--it's more of a "radio tagging agent" that is picked up by the brain matter so that it's easier to see on the film, with crisper margins from shade to shade of greys.

Nina

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thanks everyone!!! :)

my doc has said for best results i need to be in a regular (enclosed) mri machine. and that is ok. my pain is just under control right now. i really am unhappy with the stuff they put my head in at the mri as i need to be in a certain position and hold very still. as someone larger, i have to put my hands above my head and i will probable smash my shoulders up. at this point i am ready for it as i have to find out what is up and what to do about it. i have daily headaches that are starting to get worse and nothing really seems to help.

again, thank you EVERYONE!! your input has really helped.

i will be out of touch for a few days, but i will be in touch as soon as the test(s) is over and again when the results are in.

blessings,

blackwolf

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Guest Mary from OH

You should be good to go!! The contrast will be no problem! It is gallidium as MM said and is a tracer to to make the picture clearer. I have a SEVERE allergy to the CT dye and have no problem with this "dye".

Good luck and try not to worry! Listen to the muic and pretend not to hear all the noise from the machine! I personally prefer the Open MRI's, but the closed one's definitely do get a better picture!! One of my first experiences in an MRI was during a power outage with a brand new tech! Silly girl! So, now I like the Open one's!! LOL!

You'll be fine!! The contrast is no biggie!! Good luck and I hope the result help your dr.!!

Hugs and Prayers,

Mary

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thanks Mary and everyone else!!

the MRI was tough, very painful, but nice doc left me some meds(shot for test and script for home). hope to have test results tomorrow afternoon. all i know right now is that i have fluid build up in in spinal column putting pressure on the spine, causing alot of my pain, weak legs, headaches and buring chest pain. still don't know about the spinal tap, will also learn about that tomorrw.

thank you everyone for all your support and i will let you know what the tests results are.

hugs and blessings,

blackwolf

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Hi,

I never had a MRI in my life but I am glad you posted about it as I just found out today that my new doctor is putting me on the waiting for a MRI of my adrenals with the galadanium contrast (because I am allergic to iodine). It will probably be a year before I get my turn but now I know what to expect and not to worry about it.

Good luck with your test result Blackwolf. Please keep us posted.

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Guest Mary from OH

Blackwolf-

Glad you made it through ok. Hope you get some answers from your results and that it points to some kind of TREATMENT!! I always hate when you have to go through all these tests, but then the drs don't have much to say and then they don't really "help" you!! I'm praying for some good old-fashioned answers for you!! And quickly!! Because if you're anything like me, you hate to wait. The brain starts working....

My prayers are with you!! I hope the drs get back with you quickly!!

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got a very short call today from radioligist- might need another mri, more showed up then just the area they where originally looking at, might need to go up to and include the neck :o:blink::wub: i think i'm going to be sick.

what i do know is that i have some type of "abscessess" along my spine that are very "irratated". i may need a spinal tap to see what is going on, ie. infection, and what to do to treat it. will let you know when i know more.

hugs and prayers and my thanks,

blackwolf

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Guest Mary from OH

Blackwolf,

Good news/ Bad news??!! I guess they're getting closer to knowing what's going on, but more time in the tube!! And maybe a spinal tap too?! The fun never stops! I've never had the *pleasure* of having a spinal tap, just an epidural; so I can't help you much there. But, I do commiserate with another MRI!! I just HATE sitting still so long!!! My muscles go into such spasms. My best advice is to listen to the music, relax and when the "short periods" are up, move a little!! Even if it is just to twitch!! You know how they'll tell you, "this series will take about 10 minutes, please lay very still". Then all the banging begins...

Good luck to you!! Keep us posted!! I'll be praying for good news!! They do seem to be staying on top of things. It seems like they'll get you in soon and not make you wait too long. Are they going to do the spinal tap soon so they can start the correct antibiotics? Do they have to do the spinal tap under a CT? My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

:o:blink::wub::):):)

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