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Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents Possibly Dangerous

Last Updated: December 30, 2009.

In patients with renal function impairment, the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents is risky because it can lead to the development of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with renal function impairment, the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents is risky because it can lead to the development of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

Ricardo A. Natalin, M.D., of the Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues surveyed recent literature and focused on the association between nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and magnetic resonance contrast media, disease treatment and prevention, and relevance to practicing urologists.

The authors found that researchers are likely to believe exposure to gadolinium-based contrast agents triggers most cases of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis through a mechanism that has yet to be identified. They also urge urologists to familiarize themselves with prevention and treatment strategies for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.

"While gadolinium is likely the most significant component of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis development, it is probably not the only trigger of the disease and other factors must be considered in the future," the authors conclude. "Future studies will be important to better understand this disease entity."

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