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In Search of Safer Alternative to Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents

11/19/2008
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A recent study published in Kidney International, the journal of the International Society of Nephrology, noted increasing concerns over the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with renal or liver disease.  In this article, researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University urged the use of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIOs) as a safer alternative to the highly toxic gadolinium.  The scientists noted that USPIOs provided enhancement of MRI images similar to that experienced with the use of gadolinium.  This substance, which has been safely used in the past in patients with chronic kidney disease for iron supplementation therapy, was determined to be a safer alternative to the gadolinium therapies currently in use which have been repeatedly implicated as the cause of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in patients with pre-existing renal and liver disease.

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