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Mri With Contrast


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I had an MRI yesterday and was already feeling bad, but that afternoon I started getting REALLY bad- dizzy, weak, achy, with the tachycardia and shortness of breath. I can barely function and I wonder if anyone has felt this way after having the injection for the MRI??

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Is Gadolinium safe?

Gadolinium has been used for years in adults and children in the United States, Europe and Japan, without any serious complications in thousands of patients. The FDA declared Gadolinium safe for use in MRI in 1988. A few side effects, such as mild headache, nausea and local burning can occur. Very rarely (less than one in a thousand), patients are allergic to Gadolinium. If you have kidney problems, it must be used with caution. Gadolinium should be used in pregnant patients or nursing mothers only when the benefits outweigh the risk. Gadolinium used in MRI is many times safer than the iodine type contrast used in CT scans. There is more information at the International MR Safety Central Web Site.

What are the side effects?

Side effects of the contrast agent injection include mild headache, nausea and local pain. Rarely (less than 1% of the time) low blood pressure and lightheadedness occurs. This can be treated immediately with intravenous fluids. Very rarely (less than one in one thousand), patients are allergic to the contrast agent. These effects are most commonly hives and itchy eyes, but more severe reactions have been seen which result in shortness of breath.

I know when I have had the injection, I did not notice anything. But, as we all know, we are all so different in how we react to everything.

Dawn

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When I left the MRI place, I was feeling more lightheaded and tired than before I went in, but I was very anxious because I get extremely dizzy when lying flat on my back, so I was uncomfortable through the whole thing and a bit claustrophobic. Maybe I worked myself up too much!!

But last night I felt just horrible, for no particular reason that I could pinpoint. Just wanted to know if others had experienced anything after having an MRI. I still feel yucky today but it's 20% better than last night.

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I had an anaphylactic reaction to gadolinium. Very soon after the injection, while in the mri machine, I got itchy and red everywhere. Didn't call out, though I should have. The radiologist noted how red my chest was. I soon wanted to faint, had my throat tighten and itch, mouth tingling. I'd had it before with no problem, but never such a large injection. they stopped short of epinephrine, as my bp never got too low, but gave me steroids and benadryl and it settled down. I was kept over night. I am allergic, though, to more substances than you can shake a stick at. I remember the solution was very cold and was injected superfast--- that might have made things worse.

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Hi Jessica! Great to "see" you on the board. Sorry you feel badly. Just to chime in, I had that test with the dye and did not have any reaction. But of course, we are all different. As doctorquest stated, it is more likely the emotional disturbance that caused your symptoms to worsen later on in the day. MRIs are stressful to some degree to many people. If you were worried about your symptoms, that is a sign that you may have been feeling stressed. I know that even limited stress can cause my symptoms to flare for awhile -- and even worsen over a period of a day or more.

Take care--take in lots of fluids!

Katherine

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Wow..that would be scarey to have the anaphylactic reaction for sure!!

I forget the name of what I took...I had to drink it in four glasses before the MRI (4 doses in a glass of fluids) and then they injected me with something.

The injection gave me very warm feeling all over but was NOT unpleasant and then went away. I had an open MRI but would be CLAUSTROPHOBIC in an enclosed one...and the noise.....so...I hope you feel better.

Wait a minute...I think my latest deal was CT scan of internal organs in the pelvic region last year...but I took the same contrast I think unless somebody can correct me. Duh...brain fog.

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Hi, as several people have said your symptoms do sound more like a stress related POTS flare than a gadolinium reaction.

I think I had a mild allergic reaction to the gadolinium when I had my first MRI scan last summer. I have problems with severe hayfever and was on regular antihistmaines and oral prednisolone at the time of the scan. About 10mins after the contrast was injected I had a bit of a sneezing bout and my eyes started to itch and water. I didn't want them to stop the scan so I kept quiet. As I lay there I thought that my breathing was tightening up (I do have asthma) but then I wasn't sure if I was thinking myself into being breathless and worrying unneccesarily (I'd been in the scanner over an hour and was feeling a bit claustrophobic).

When they sat me up I felt really dizzy so I was wheeled to the changing cubicle. I took several puffs of my salbutamol inhaler and my chest settled back down. After a while I thought I'd better report my symptoms to the staff. Eventually the radiologist came and listened to my chest with a pathetically cheap stethoscope and said there were only crackles no wheeze so it wasn't a reaction?

I had a second MRI scan a couple of months ago but they didn't use any contrast.

Take care of yourself, the usual fluids, salt, rest, and hopefully you'll be feeling better soon,

Flop

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I have had contrast multiple times and I dont believe it made me worse (or at leaste not drastically, but my memory has gotten kinda goofy from the POTS so it may have and i just dont remeber) but I think that perhaps it was just a coincidence and you just got worse that afternoon, and it maybe wasnt from the contrast. hope your feeling better now! have a great day, ~Mary

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Thanks for all the replies!! Unfortunately I am still feeling horrible, it just won't get better. I think it was a coincedence because surely after 3.5 days it must be out of my system, or at least the majority of it!! I think something else is the cuplrit, if only I knew what....it is that time of the month so I am blaming that for now!!! But this is the worst I have felt in several years, and I am scared.

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  • 14 years later...

Hi!

I received a brain MRI with contrast today and am also menstruating and am having a horrible flare up.  I felt it in the MRI but assumed I was just hungry and lightheaded.  However, I have been home for a little over two hours now and am not feeling great.  Blurred vision, dizziness, pressure in ears, feel hot under skin but not fever, headache and really sore all over.  Found this site bc I was wondering the same thing - if this is normal.  I have been suffering from dysautonomia since January and being tested for POTS currently.  
 

 

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@DysMomofTwo - I am so sorry you are going through this! My first question is - are you sure you are not having an allergic reaction to the contrast? -- I know the feeling of having a fever without a fever and the other symptoms you describe - when I get them I feel like my blood pressure is soaring, but in reality it is low! The best advice I can give you is to rest until you are better ( and you will be ), drink plenty of fluids and try to not get stressed or overstimulated ( going by your forum name DysMomofTwo I assume that is impossible? ) If your symptoms do not improve after a good night of sleep and ample fluids I would ask someone to help you with your chores ( and kids? ) so you can rest. Pushing yourself usually makes things worse, so it is essential that you get the uninterrupted rest that is needed to calm down your ANS. 

Once you feel better and get your energy back make sure you dont jump in full-on right away. 

Hope this is helpful, feel better soon! Keep us posted on your upcoming testing!

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The symptoms you are describing are consistent with symptoms I have had when in a flare up.  When in a flare up any small stress can set off worsened symptoms in my experience.  There was a member here recently describing worsened symptoms after a blood draw.  This can be a vasovagal reaction that causes a cascade of symptoms.

I agree with Pistol that fluids generally help me when symptoms worsen.  Rest is also beneficial.

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I also flare really badly when having my period  - as a teenager it was the only time I had POTS symptoms so I assumed they were caused by a gynaecological problem (I did have endometriosis).  It was only as I got older and began to have symptoms at other times of the month that I realised they had another cause.   I have a Mirena coil fitted which stops my periods for a few years after it is inserted (I'm now on my 3rd and waiting to have my 4th) and when I was younger I ran 4 packs of the pill together and only had 3 or 4 bleeds a year.  If menstruation is a trigger for you to flare it might be worth having a chat with your GP to see what they would suggest to reduce/stop your periods.  Please keep drinking plenty of fluids, eat salty foods (unless your BP is high and your GP advises against it) and consider compression tights if you aren't already using them - they do help with the return of blood.  Be kind to yourself - POTS symptoms can be very frightening but it becomes a vicious cycle in that the more anxious you are about how bad you feel, the worse the symptoms get!

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