From: 12.11.2019 17:35 pm
Imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), require contrast agents to visualize poorly visible structures of organs and other body tissues. Therefore, contrast agents are often necessary in the diagnosis.
The gadolinium-containing contrast media has been around for 30 years. They are injected prior to MRI scans to visualize abnormal changes in tissues or bones. Hidden sources of inflammation, for example in multiple sclerosis or cancer metastases can be better detected with their help.
Gadolinium has still been discovered in the body for months
Heavy metal gadolinium is as toxic as lead or mercury. In the contrast agent, gadolinium is chemically bound, in so-called chelates. Doctors assumed that gadolinium is excreted unchanged by the kidneys within hours of admission. In fact, gadolinium can still be detected in the body for up to one and a half years after administration – in the skin, bones and also in the brain.
Certain gadolinium contrast agents are prohibited
There are two groups of gadolinium-containing contrast agents:
- Application of linear contrast agents Gadolinium has been banned by the Federal Institute for Medicines and Medical Devices in Germany since early 2018.
- Also allowed are the so-called. macrocyclic contrast agentIn them, gadolinium should be better bound than linear means. However, after application of macrocyclic contrast agents, gadolinium residues in the brain may also be detected.
Critique of Authorization Procedures for Contrast Media
Before medical substances are approved for human use, they go through complex and lengthy approval procedures. Critics point out that contrast agent approval is done only by single dose testing, but not for multiple in-person applications. But especially people with cancer or multiple sclerosis are often examined at close intervals with contrast agents to control for possible progression of the disease.
The health damage of gadolinum is not recognized
Health damage caused by deposited gadolinium in healthy people has not yet been confirmed. But again and again sufferers report gadolinium-containing contrast agents:
- kidney problems
- skin lesions
- neurological disorders such as headache, dizziness and emotional disorders
- muscle pain
It is known that contrast agents with gadolinium can cause fibrosis in patients with kidney disease.
Application only after careful consideration
Whether a contrast-enhanced MRI examination is necessary, only a physician can decide individually. The guidelines of professional associations provide that the administration of contrast agents is justified only if the contrast-free image is not sufficient. If a contrast agent is used, always dose as low as possible.