Ask Dr. Ulissey | June Q/A

  • Friday, June 15, 2018 1:30pm
  • Life

Q: I am scheduled to get a breast MRI and have heard that gadolinium contrast is not safe. Can they do the MRI without contrast?

A: The direct bottom line answer is “no/” We cannot do a breast MRI without IV contrast.

What you may be referring to is that in May 2017 the FDA issued a drug safety communication indicating that, in some cases, with repeated contrast MRI scans (generally four or more), trace amounts of gadolinium based contrast agents (GBCA) can remain in the brain and other organs for years after administration, and the long-term consequences of this are unknown.

Although the communication further stated that they do not know of any adverse health effects from gadolinium, they recommended that physicians consider this and limit the use of gadolinium when possible.

Over the decades many types of gadolinium agents have been developed and studied. Some binding agents hold on to gadolinium tighter than others and are considered the safest. One such agent, under the trade name Dotarem – and I have no financial interest in this product – has been used for decades in Europe and more recently in the United States because it seems to be one of the safest out there.

So consider asking your MRI center what agent they use and whether it has a similar safety profile.

Michael J. Ulissey, M.D., is a partner at the Breast Diagnostic Centers of Auburn and Federal Way. You can reach him at michael.ulissey@cdirad.com.

More in Life

Call to artists

City offers opportunities for creativity; program deadlines approaching

Kids SummerStage

Children’s concert series returns to Les Gove Park

COURTESY PHOTO, Museum of Flight
Man and the moon

Programs this week honor Apollo program and the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing

Choose your favorite sculpture; People’s Choice Award up for grabs

Auburn’s Downtown Sculpture Gallery program, now in its sixth year, exhibits sculptures… Continue reading

Auburn community calendar | July 5

Events, benefits and entertainment listings

COURTESY PHOTO, city of Auburn
Auburn Community Jr. Players present ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’

Musical premieres Friday, July 12 at the Auburn Ave Theater

Rock the Lot: Poly Fest returns to Auburn on Saturday

Rock the Lot: Poly Fest comes to The Outlet Collection in Auburn… Continue reading

Auburn Symphony kicks off Summer Series

The Auburn Symphony’s Summer Series begins Thursday, June 27 with From the… Continue reading

Most common reasons for clinic visits during the summer

Take precautions as hot weather returns

‘HONK!’ for a happy ending

Heavier Than Air Family Theatre Company presents musical

Auburn community calendar | June 20

Events, benefits and entertainment listings

ADA serves up Auburn Beer & Wine Festival on June 15

The Auburn Downtown Association hosts its second annual Auburn Beer & Wine… Continue reading