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A prospective study of costs associated with the evaluation of allergic reactions to radiological contrast media

Sobrino-García M1,2, Muñoz-Bellido FJ1,2,3, Moreno E1,2,3,4, Gracia-Bara MT1,2, Laffond E1,2,3, Lázaro-Sastre M1, Martín-García C1,2, Dávila I1,2,3,4

1Allergy Service, University Hospital of Salamanca, Spain
2Institute for Biomedical Research of Salamanca, IBSAL, Salamanca, Spain
3Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences. Faculty of Medicine. University of Salamanca, Spain
4Asthma, Allergic and Adverse Reactions (ARADyAL) Network for Cooperative Research in Health of Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Salamanca University Hospital, Salamanca, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2023; Vol. 33(3)
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0774

Background: The prevalence of hypersensitivity reactions to radiological contrast media (RCM) is increasing due to the greater performance of diagnostic and therapeutic tests that require RCMs.
Objective: We carried out a year-long real-life observational study to prospectively evaluate the patients referred to the Allergy Service from Primary Care, Emergency Room, and other Services with suspected moderate to severe RCM hypersensitivity.
Methods: To study the costs of RCM hypersensitivity evaluation, we systematically recorded direct and indirect costs.
Results: Sixty-nine patients with previous reactions to RCM were evaluated in the Allergy Service from June 1st, 2017, to May 31st, 2018. Total direct health care costs were € 10715.84, with a mean cost per patient of € 155.30 ± 77.08. Specifically, direct non-health costs reached € 1605.42 (mean € 23.27 ± 41.14), and indirect costs were € 6490.85 (mean € 94.07 ± 110.61). In summary, the total cost was € 18812.11, which means a mean cost of € 272.64 ± 164.77.
Conclusions: Our study reflects that the costs of an elective evaluation of hypersensitivity to RCM are low. This fact reaffirms that correct and safe management of these patients could be cost-effective, so our efforts should be directed to implement the necessary logistics.

Key words: Contrast media, Hypersensitivity, Health care costs, Diagnostic tests, Prospective studies