Feb 20, 2023
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a commonly used diagnostic tool that helps doctors to see detailed images of your body's internal structures. To enhance these images, a contrast agent is often used, which contains a non-physiologic lanthanide metal called gadolinium. However, recent studies have shown that the long-term safety of these contrast agents, particularly with repeated use, should be studied further. In this article, we will explore what these risks are and what we can do to better understand them.
Complications from MRI contrast agents range from acute kidney injury to potentially fatal gadolinium encephalopathy and irreversible systemic fibrosis. Additionally, residual gadolinium from MRI contrast agent exposure has been found in every vital organ, including the brain, in both patients and animal models. Urine can contain gadolinium years after exposure to MRI contrast agents.
Gadolinium is toxic and can cause serious health problems. It is the active ingredient in MRI contrast agents, which are proprietary aminopolycarboxylic acid chelates designed to bind the metal tightly and enhance renal elimination. Gadolinium is not a physiologic element, and exposure to any class of MRI contrast agent leads to the long-term retention of gadolinium. Residual gadolinium from MRI contrast agent exposure has been found in every vital organ, including the brain, in both patients and animal models.
The study found that systemic treatment with MRI contrast agents leads to electron-dense intracellular precipitation within the renal tubular epithelium and interstitial cells in males and females. The formation of spiculated nanoparticles is similar to what has been reported to form from gadolinium oxide (Gd2O3) in phagolysosomal simulated solutions. Additionally, our results also demonstrate gadolinium precipitation in human kidneys as a result of routine MRI contrast agent use.
The findings from this study suggest that gadolinium-based contrast agents are not entirely benign and that the long-term safety of these synthetic metal-ligand complexes, especially with repeated use, should be studied further. Rather than dismiss patients who may have suffered from complications due to enhanced MRI procedures, pathologic specimens should be examined for evidence of gadolinium-rich deposits. Furthermore, localization, identification, and speciation of retained gadolinium are critical to understanding the mechanisms of toxicity.
MRI contrast agents are an essential tool in modern medicine, but recent studies have raised concerns about their long-term safety. The results of this study suggest that gadolinium-based contrast agents are not entirely benign and that the long-term safety of these synthetic metal-ligand complexes, especially with repeated use, should be studied further. To better understand these risks, it is important to continue researching and analyzing the effects of these contrast agents on the body. By doing so, we can ensure that patients receive the safest and most effective care possible.
Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft. As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to TechWire.net and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.
This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.