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Table 1 Classification of severity and manifestation of adverse reactions to contrast media

From: 2015 Update on Acute Adverse Reactions to Gadolinium based Contrast Agents in Cardiovascular MR. Large Multi-National and Multi-Ethnical Population Experience With 37788 Patients From the EuroCMR Registry

Signs and symptoms appear self-limited without evidence of progression (e.g., limited urticaria with mild pruritis, transient nausea, one episode of emesis) and include:  
• Nausea, vomiting • Pallor
• Cough • Flushing
• Warmth • Chills
• Headache • Sweats
• Dizziness • Rash, hives
• Shaking • Nasal stuffiness
• Altered taste • Swelling: eyes, face
• Itching • Anxiety
Treatment: Requires observation to confirm resolution and/or lack of progression and may require treatment in some cases. Patient reassurance is usually helpful.
Signs and symptoms are more pronounced. Moderate degree of clinically evident focal or systemic signs or symptoms, including:
• Tachycardia/bradycardia • Bronchospasm, wheezing
• Hypertension • Laryngeal edema
• Generalized or diffuse erythema • Mild hypotension
• Dyspnea  
Treatment: Clinical findings in moderate reactions frequently require prompt treatment. These situations require close, careful observation for possible progression to a life-threatening event.
Sign and symptoms are often life-threatening, including:
• Laryngeal edema (severe or rapidly progressing) • Convulsions
• Profound hypotension • Unresponsiveness
• Clinically manifest arrhythmias • Cardiopulmonary arrest
Treatment: Requires prompt recognition and aggressive treatment; manifestations and treatment frequently require hospitalization.