Reducing the Dependence of an MRI Department on Gadolinium Based Contrast Agents for Angiographic Techniques

Abstract

With current uncertainties surrounding the safety and the long-term effects of gadolinium based contrast agents (GBCAs), there is a call to reduce our reliance upon these. GBCAs are used throughout Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to help highlight areas of clinical interest such as tumours and vasculature. There are a number of side effects associated with GBCAs and more recently, concerns have been raised the accumulation of gadolinium in various tissues. These growing concerns have triggered clinicians to review the need for administering GBCAs. One area of MRI that routinely uses GBCAs is angiography (MRA). In many cases, non-contrast alternatives exist, however, these are often overlooked in favour of the more traditional contrast enhanced (CE) techniques. This project will attempt to address some of the limitations of non-contrast MRA through the use of a phantom and patient testing of optimised imaging. Ultimately, leading to a reduction in the amount of GBCAs being delivered to our patients.