Jeff Gerth – FDA Examines Whether MRI Drugs Accumulate in Brain Tissue

The Food and Drug Administration announced today it is investigating the risk of brain deposits for patients who are given repeated MRIs using imaging drugs that contain a heavy metal.

The FDA did not announce any label changes for the nine medicines that contain the metal, gadolinium, saying there was a “need for additional information.” However, “to reduce the potential for gadolinium accumulation,” the safety announcement asked health care professionals to “consider limiting” their use and to reexamine “the necessity of repetitive” MRIs involving these drugs.

 ProPublica has extensively reported on the potential risks of contrast agents, including a call by two prominent radiologists for more research following recent studies that unexpectedly found gadolinium in the brain tissues of patients. The patients each underwent at least four scans using two of the nine agents currently on the market. It is not known if the deposits are harmful.