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Gadolinium Contrast - NCCN statement on use in MRI scanning

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Recently the FDA in the United States has issued a warning about apparent Gadolinium deposition in specific areas of the brain after repeated use of this agent as a contrast medium to improve the information gained from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scanning).

The appearance of this newly described finding on scans is so far not linked with any known physical symptoms or brain function change.

As a result of this finding, the following are recommended:

  1. Careful consideration about the value of an MRI scan in managing the individual patient
  2. Careful consideration of whether gadolinium is required to provide the best possible information to be gained from an MRI scan
  3. Use of a macrocyclic form of gadolinium if a gadolinium based contrast agent is required. This is considered less likely to dissociate and be retained in the body than the linear based gadolinium products.
  4. Discussion about what is currently known regarding gadolinium with patients and families so that an informed choice can be made when planning patient investigation with MRI.

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Document Control

  • Date last published: 28 January 2016
  • Document type: Clinical Guideline
  • Services responsible: National Child Cancer Network
  • Review frequency: 2 years

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