Gadolinium is a chemical element which is silvery white in color and was discovered in 1880. It has some paramagnetic properties because of which it is used intravenously in diagnostic imaging procedures to better the quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). The first GBCA, Magnevist by Bayer, was approved in the U.S. in 1988.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging procedure used for making images of the internal structures of the body. MRI scanners work by making images using strong magnetic fields and radio waves (radiofrequency energy). Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents (GBCA) are intravenous drugs used in diagnostic imaging procedures to enhance the quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).
FDA has mostly approved all the GBCAs for an intravenous (IV) administration in radiology imaging as they can provide greater contrast between normal and abnormal tissues within the body. Gradually, it was noticed that these contrast agents do not leave the body immediately as they were supposed to. Gadolinium is excreted out of the body through the kidneys, but due to its deposition in the body, it was found to cause Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD) giving permanent injuries to kidneys. GDD is incurable and symptoms can begin anytime from hours to months after a GBCA has been administered.
The five linear forms of the contrast agents include Magnevist manufactured by Bayer-Schering; MultiHance developed by Bracco Diagnostics; Omniscan created by GE Healthcare; OptiMARK manufactured by Mallinckrodt Inc.; and ProHance also manufactured by Bracco Diagnostics.