Complement activation following intravenous contrast material administration

Phil Lieberman, Robert L. Siegle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Untoward reactions to iodinated contrast material (ICM) continue to be a significant medical problem. Complement components were assayed in patients having reactions to evaluate the possibility of complement activation in these reactions. Reactor group samples were drawn from patients during the contrast reactions and then 2 weeks later to provide the equivalent of preinjection baseline samples. Control patient values were determined from blood samples drawn from patients before and 20 minutes after ICM injections without reaction. There were consistent falls in total hemolytic complement (CH50) as well as C3, C4, and C5 in both the control group and the reactor group. These falls in complement reached statistical significance only for CH50 in the reactor group. The results indicate that complement activation occurs after ICM injection. This activation can occur independent of clinical reactions; however, falls in total hemolytic complement and low hemolytic complement titers prior to ICM infusion may be related to the presence of anaphylactoid symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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