The use of any contrast agent has inherent risks. A recent study, which surveyed adverse reactions in 32,000 patients who were imaged using gadolinium-based contrast agents, found that these events are rare. The findings of this study, which was conducted from October 2007 to December 2008, were published in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (

Led by Hani H. Abujudeh, Vijaya K. Kosaraju, and Ratachai Kaewlai of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the study followed 32,659 patients at Massachussetts General Hospital who were administered gadopentetate dimeglumine or gadobenate dimeglumine for MRI examinations.

The results found a total of 51 adverse reactions in 50 patients (16 men and 34 women) or 0.16% of the total. The majority (38) of adverse reactions were associated with gadopentetate dimeglumine with the balance being caused by the gadobenate dimeglumine. Most of the reactions were mild with only two being classed as “severe.” The most severe reactions were to the gadobenate dimeglumine.