Gadolinium detection viain vivoprompt gamma neutron activation analysis following gadolinium-based contrast agent injection: a pilot study in 10 human participants
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Gadolinium (Gd) based contrast agents are routinely used as part of many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. The widespread use of these agents and concerns about Gd toxicity, motivated us to develop a monitoring procedure that could non-invasively measure quantitatively potential retention of toxic free Gd in tissues after use of the agent. We have been developing a method to measure Gd painlessly and non-invasively by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis. In this paper we present the results of a pilot study where we show that we can measure Gd, quantitatively in vivo, in the lower leg muscle of 10 participants. A series of three neutron leg scans were performed. The effective radiation dose for a single neutron leg scan was very low, 0.6 µSv, so multiple scans were possible. Calibration phantom and in vivo detection limits were determined to be identical: 0.58 ppm. Gd was not detectable in muscle prior to exposure to the contrast agent Gadovist(®). Gd was detected, at greater than 99% confidence, in 9 participants within 1 h of contrast administration and in 1 participant approximately 3.3 h post-contrast administration. The measured concentrations of Gd ranged from 2.0 to 17.3 ppm (6.9 to 56 uncertainties different from zero). No detectable Gd was measured in any participant in the third neutron scan (conducted 0.7 to 5.9 d post-contrast). The results of this study validate our new measurement technology. This technique could be used as a non-invasive monitoring procedure for exposure and retention of Gd from Gd-based chelates used in MRI.
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