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For Release: June 30, 2009


Even at High Doses, Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents Cannot by Themselves Cause Patients to Develop Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Even at very high doses, gadolinium-based contrast agents alone are not sufficient to cause nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in patients with kidney problems, according to a study performed at the Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, FL. NSF is a rare and serious syndrome that leads to fibrosis of the skin, joints and even internal organs. Some research indicates NSF is caused by gadolinium-based contrast agents that are commonly used today during MR procedures.

The study examined the records of 61 patients. “Our patients had been given high doses—from two to ten times the usual MRI dose. These high doses were used because the patients were undergoing interventional procedures and the procedures were done before there were any reports linking gadolinium to NSF,” said Mellena D. Bridges, MD, lead author of the study. “Fortunately, one of these patients, a 58-year-old diabetic man with end-stage kidney disease and significant blood vessel blockages, developed NSF. Gadolinium seems to be necessary to trigger NSF, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to cause the disease, even at very high doses,” said Dr. Bridges.

This study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@arrs.org.

Click here for abstract.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.

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