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Safety of gadolinium during pregnancy

Facundo Garcia-Bournissen, MD, Alon Shrim, MD, Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC

March 2006



A pregnant patient who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because of an acute abdomen, was told that MRI contrast agents (ie, gadolinium-based contrast agents) are contraindicated during pregnancy. What is the risk to her baby?


Current radiology practices and recommendations discourage the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents during pregnancy because their safety for the fetus has not yet been proven. In line, however, with the European Society of Radiology guidelines and based on the available evidence, gadolinium-based contrast agents appear to be safe in pregnancy. Gadolinium use should be considered when the diagnostic study is important for the health of the mother.


Une patiente enceinte a subi un examen à l'aide de l'imagerie par résonance magnétique (IRM) en raison d'un abdomen aigu. On lui a dit que les agents de contraste en IRM (p. ex. les agents de contraste à base de gadolinium) sont contre-indiqués durant la grossesse. Quels sont les risques pour son nouveau-né?


Les pratiques et les recommandations actuelles en radiologie ne sont pas favorables à l'utilisation des agents de contraste à base de gadolinium durant la grossesse parce que leur innocuité pour le foetus n'a pas encore été éprouvée. Par ailleurs, si l'on se fonde sur le guide de pratique de la Société européenne de radiologie et les données scientifiques accessibles, les agents de contraste à base de gadolinium semblent sûrs durant la grossesse. On devrait envisager recourir au gadolinium lorsque l'étude diagnostique est importante pour la santé de la mère.

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