Gadolinium-based contrast agents in pediatric magnetic resonance imaging


Gadolinium-based contrast agents can increase the accuracy and expediency of an MRI examination. However the benefits of a contrast-enhanced scan must be carefully weighed against the well-documented risks associated with administration of exogenous contrast media. The purpose of this review is to discuss commercially available gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) in the context of pediatric radiology. We discuss the chemistry, regulatory status, safety and clinical applications, with particular emphasis on imaging of the blood vessels, heart, hepatobiliary tree and central nervous system. We also discuss non-GBCA MRI contrast agents that are less frequently used or not commercially available.

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Correspondence to Michael S. Gee.

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Conflicts of interest

Dr. Gale has provided consulting services to Collagen Medical LLC, and has equity in Reveal Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dr. Caravan has research funding from Pfizer, Biogen and Agilent, has provided consulting services to Guerbet, and has equity in Collagen Medical LLC, Factor 1A LLC and Reveal Pharmaceuticals Inc. Drs. Rao, McDonald, Winfeld, Fleck and Gee have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Gale, E.M., Caravan, P., Rao, A.G. et al. Gadolinium-based contrast agents in pediatric magnetic resonance imaging. Pediatr Radiol 47, 507–521 (2017).

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  • Children
  • Contrast agent
  • Gadolinium-based contrast agent
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Safety