Use of Gadolinium contrast agents in veterinary practice

Notice type: Advisory

Date: 12/12/2017


Product name or type:
Gadolinium contrast agents

Target Audience:
Veterinary practitioners

Problem Or Issue:
Following an evaluation by the European Medicines Agency of gadolinium contrast agents in human medicine, certain restrictions on their supply are being introduced. These restrictions may affect the availability of these agents for veterinary use.

Background Information Or Related Documents:
Gadolinium contrast agents are not authorised for use in animals. However, their use is permitted in animals in exceptional conditions, under the terms of the ‘cascade’ provisions of the veterinary legislation.

Actions To Be Taken:
Veterinary practitioners should consider using alternative contrast agents to linear intravenous formulations of Gadolinium (i.e. Magnevist (gadopentetic acid), Omniscan (gadodiamide) and Optimark (gadoversetamide)). Other formulations of gadolinium agents (e.g. macrocyclic agents) as well as linear agents used for intraarticular use, and gadoxetic acid and gadobenic acid for liver scans, continue to be authorised for human use. If using gadolinium contrast agents, veterinary practitioners should take note of the potential risk of gadolinium deposition in brain tissues, even though there is currently no evidence that gadolinium retention in the brain has caused harm to human patients.

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