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High Rates of Gadolinium Leakage in Stroke Patients

A new study from the National Institutes of Health has found that acute stroke patients who undergo MRI are highly susceptible to gadolinium leakage into the eyes.

In a study published in Neurology, the group of researchers led by Emi Hitomi, a post-baccalaureate intramural research training award fellow, evaluated 167 patients who received MRI exams upon being admitted to the hospital. Two hours and/or 24 hours after the MRI, patients underwent a fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging exam.

Gadolinium leakage into ocular structures (GLOS) were identified in 76 percent of patients. At the two-hour exam, GLOS occurred in 67 patients in the aqueous chamber alone, only 6 percent of patients in the vitreous chamber, and was found in both chambers for 27 percent of patients, which indicated a “a higher degree of blood–brain barrier permeability.” At 24-hour post MRI test, GLOS was found in 75 percent of patients’ vitreous chambers, which the researchers associated with increasing age.

"The mechanism for acute GLOS remains uncertain but may be a remote effect of acute cerebral injury on the blood–ocular barrier,” write the researchers. These findings support the need for further investigation into the repercussions of gadolinium injection during MRI procedures. 

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