Absence of clinical cerebellar syndrome after serial injections of more than 20 doses of gadoterate, a macrocyclic GBCA: a monocenter retrospective study
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Sound evidence of gadolinium accumulation in brain has been recently provided after repeated administrations of linear gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs), especially at the cerebellum level. Although data regarding brain accumulation of macrocyclic GBCAs are more reassuring, there is now a genuine concern (“gadolinium-phobia”) about possible long-term consequences of gadolinium deposits, especially in terms of cerebellar sequelae. We, therefore, questioned about the clinical impact of serial administration of gadoterate meglumine, a macrocyclic GBCA. In this retrospective study (2000–2016) of medical files of patients who received more than 20 administrations of gadoterate, we searched for cerebellar symptoms and signs developing during the regular follow-up. We reviewed medical files of ten patients (mean age 34.4 ± 20.8 years; 4 males, 6 females) who received 28.2 ± 5.3 doses of gadoterate (average total dose of GBCA 518 ± 226 ml; range 185–785 ml). Patients were examined by at least two medical specialists depending on initial diagnosis, and at least once by a neurosurgeon. Mean follow-up time was 91 months (range 49–168) and six out of ten patients experienced new symptoms or signs. No clinician reported the appearance of a rising cerebellar syndrome, nor newly appeared symptoms or signs suggested cerebellar toxicity. This retrospective clinical study shows no de novo clinical cerebellar syndrome following repeated administrations of gadoterate. Our results argue against a cerebellar toxicity of this macrocyclic agent. Still, confirmation in a larger number of subjects is required, as well as clinical studies concerning linear GBCAs whose structure and in vivo stability are distinct.
KeywordsGadolinium deposition Macrocyclic Linear Brain deposits Basal ganglia Toxic cerebellar syndrome
GP is Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Medicine, ULB-Erasme. MM is supported by the FNRS-Belgium and the Fonds Erasme.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
MM has interacted with Guerbet (France) to design experimental studies on the mechanisms of deposits of gadolinium chelates in the rodent brain.
This retrospective study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the ULB-Erasme Hospital.
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