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On February 7, 2018, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported on the unexpected finding of gadolinium leakage into ocular structures (GLOS) in acute stroke patients after administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA). “Blood-ocular barrier disruption in acute stroke patients” by Hitomi et al. is published in the journal Neurology. Blood-ocular barriers (BOBS) protect the compartments of the eye.
NIH researchers performed baseline MRI scans with a gadolinium-based contrast agent on 167 stroke patients upon admission to the hospital and compared them to scans performed 2 and/or 24 hours later with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging. The study found that gadolinium leakage was evident on post-contrast FLAIR images in 127/167 (76%) patients. At 2 hours after administration of the GBCA, GLOS was more common in the aqueous chamber alone. At 24 hours, GLOS was present in 121/162 (75%) patients, always involving the vitreous chamber, but also affecting the aqueous chamber in 6% of cases.
The authors concluded that GLOS is common in patients with acute stroke, and delayed GLOS was a marker for chronic vascular disease. They noted that the mechanism for acute GLOS remains uncertain but may be a remote effect of acute cerebral injury on the blood-ocular barrier.
It remains unclear whether gadolinium can enter the eye in healthy people.
Gadolinium has been detected in eyes before (more…)