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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Contrasting Agent in MRI

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Author Topic: Contrasting Agent in MRI
feelfit
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I am wondering about the safety in using a contrasting agent in a MRI, MRA scan.

Does anyone here have any experience or knowledge about this?

Posts: 3975 | From usa | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
david1097
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It is quite safe but there has been an advisory sent out about very rare instantces of bad reactions. (this after about 2 decades of use)

The dye is not radioactive, rather it is a drug that contain a paramagnetic material- tyically a rare earth call gadolinium. It clears the body fairly quickly.

It is of no use in lyme studies. Its main use is for the detection of tumors and it is usually used in screening studies. It works by detecting disturbances in the blood brain barrier, typical of those found with a tumor.

Hope that helps.

Posts: 1184 | From north america | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
minoucat
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Some people do have problems with the contrasting agents, particularly with their kidneys. I've only known one person to react to the agent -- trouble breathing, the shakes, tachycardia. It turned out OK but lasted several days and really scared her.

See

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/gcca/qa.htm

Healthtouch or MRI

MRI's can be helpful in establishing whether there are problems in brain structure or changes in the number of lesions (if any). But I can't say that they've been very useful in guiding treatment for any of the Lymies I've known, other than to rule out MS or other diseases (although that is actually helpful when you're starting out. Not everything is LD!)

The hubby had SEVERE neuro problems, but nothing showed up on the MRIs. Comforting to know there wasn't any structural problem, but it didn't get us anywhere with treatment and caused some insurance problems.

I wish we'd opted for the SPECT scan instead -- not that I can think of what we'd have done with the info! But I'm completely sure he had significant hypoperfusion and it would have been nice to know, and would have helped with insurance.

I'd love to have had a PET scan done, too, particularly when he was having seizures.

The hubby's neuro sx are back in the normal Lymie range now -- no seizures or episodes of amnesia -- so I don't think it's worth the money to explore further. He's been treated successfuly for bart, and we hope the babs tx is holding. Still fighting LD but the abx seem to be suppressing it.

Check out Bea's posts on vasiculitis and neurolyme. All her posts are worth reading, and there's specific info at http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=059957

Best of luck.

--------------------
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RECIDITE, PLEBES! Gero rem imperialem!
(Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business.)



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lymex5&counting
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Is it for a brain MRI?

All I know is the Radiologist (not LL) sent back a nasty letter to my LLMD Neurologist stating that if he was looking for plaques, etc in Lyme disease that he should have used contrast.

I wish he would have too. Even though I don't like putting that kind of stuff in my body. If the ins. is going to pay $1500 for the MRI and you have to feel like you are about to be hit by a freight train for 10 minutes than my opinion is that they should try to use the most accurate form of testing available.

Which is technically a SPECT or PET but most won't jump up and order them.

Good luck, lyme x 9

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feelfit
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The Mri is of the Brain. Already had it and refused the contrasting agent because the examiner said that they got really good pictures w/o it.

The radiologist was aghast because the dx was Lyme and he said that lyme shows best with a contrasting agent.

I am now scheduled for a SPECT scan and a MRA with contrast. My Doctor thought that he saw an abnormality in the brain stem area of the MRI.

My symptoms are neurological, at least the most troublesome are.

Thank you for responsing and I will read the suggested posts.

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Aniek
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I've had multiple MRI's with contrasting agents. Never had a problem.

--------------------
"When there is pain, there are no words." - Toni Morrison

Posts: 4711 | From Washington, DC | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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