Gadolinium Toxicity

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Gadolinium Bioeffects and Toxicity – Special Issue of MRI Journal

A special issue of the journal Magnetic Resonance Imaging has been published and it is dedicated to “Gadolinium Bioeffects and Toxicity”.  The issue starts with a safety overview of GBCAs by MRI Safety expert Dr. Emanuel Kanal, and ends with articles by UNC Radiologist Dr. Richard Semelka.  One of the articles provides the initial description of Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD) which, while recently named, has been around for a while.

The issue is broken down into 4 sections as shown below.  The link will take you to the abstract, but you can access a PDF of the complete paper.

Introduction –
Kanal, E. (2016). Gadolinium based contrast agents (GBCA): Safety overview after 3 decades of clinical experience. Magnetic Resonance Imaging. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.017

MRI Findings –
Kanda, T., et al (2016). Gadolinium deposition in the brain. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1346–1350. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.024

Radbruch, A. (2016). Are some agents less likely to deposit gadolinium in the brain? Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1351–1354. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.09.001

Ramalho, J., et al, (2016). Technical aspects of MRI signal change quantification after gadolinium-based contrast agents’ administration. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1355–1358. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.09.004

Basic Sciences –
Murata, N., et al, (2016). Gadolinium tissue deposition in brain and bone. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1359–1365. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.025

Prybylski, J. P., et al, 2016). Gadolinium deposition in the brain: Lessons learned from other metals known to cross the blood–brain barrier. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1366–1372. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.018

Swaminathan, S., et al, (2016). Gadolinium toxicity: Iron and ferroportin as central targets. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1373–1376. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.016

Tweedle, M. F., et al, (2016). Gadolinium deposition: Is it chelated or dissociated gadolinium? How can we tell? Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1377–1382. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.09.003

Future Directions –
Semelka, R. C., et al, (2016). Gadolinium deposition disease: Initial description of a disease that has been around for a while. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1383–1390. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.07.016

Prybylski, J. P., et al, (2016). Can gadolinium be re-chelated in vivo? Considerations from decorporation therapy. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1391–1393. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.001

Ramalho, J., et al, (2016). Gadolinium toxicity and treatment. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1394–1398. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.09.005

Semelka, R. C., et al, (2016). Summary of special issue on gadolinium bioeffects and toxicity with a look to the future. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 34(10), 1399–1401. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.09.002


My thoughts –
I believe this Special Issue is an important step in moving the discussion about gadolinium retention in patients with normal renal function forward.  It seems that everyone now agrees that all patients exposed to gadolinium-based contrast agents retain some gadolinium from each dose of contrast that they receive. However, regardless of what you call it, patients are suffering from the toxic effects of retained gadolinium.

There is no doubt in my mind or the minds of other affected patients that retained gadolinium can cause chronic clinical symptoms of varying severity. Hopefully a large population of affected patients will be interviewed and examined soon.  I believe that discussing symptoms with patients might trigger a thought process that leads researchers to uncover the missing pieces of the puzzle that explain the difference between what has been seen in brain tissue that contains gadolinium and the symptoms that patients are experiencing.

Sharon Williams
12/2/16

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