Recent Study Results on MRI Testing Contrast Agents

Based in Switzerland, Dr. Val Runge is a University Hospital Zurich visiting radiology professor and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Investigative Radiology. Dr. Val Runge recently offered commentary on the article entitled “T1-Weighted Hypersignal in the Deep Cerebellar Nuclei Following Repeated Administrations of Gadolinium-based Contrast Agents in Healthy Rats: Difference between Linear and Macrocyclic Agents.”

Dr. Runge notes that there have been eight articles published so far on this important, safety-related, MRI topic, with the first two appearing in 2014 and pointing toward a correlation between increased gadodiamide cumulative dose and progressive increase in T1 signal intensity of the dentate nucleus.

The two groups published further clinical studies in 2015 and there was a further article published by a German group. These confirmed the earlier findings and showed that patients receiving gadoterate meglumine (a macrocyclic agent) lacked abnormalities. Tissue from deceased patients was examined and further significant data brought to light.

Dr. Runge comments that the importance of this newly observed phenomenon is that it occurs in situations of “relatively normal” renal function. As explained in a less technical Science Daily article, the finding points to safety concerns surrounding magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents, which have sales over half a billion dollars each year world-wide.

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