Any Bad Experiences with Contrast Dye (Gadolinium) for MRI?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lisa88, Mar 22, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      IAC/Brain MRI with contrast coming up this Monday. Besides the claustrophobia and sound fears I have, the fear that is most prevalent is of the contrast dye injection. I know we have the right to refuse the injection, but apparently the image is not sharp enough for accurate diagnosis without it in some instances.
      Has anyone had any adverse effects with the contrast dye?
      Thanks. And Yikes!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I have had three MRIs: two with contrast dye, one without. No bad side effects. The dye used for MRIs is safer than that for CT scans. And there is no radiation either (CT scans = approximately 200 times that of a normal x-ray). Sedatives for claustrophobic patients is a possibility, but the clinic staff need to know in advance. I recommend bringing - and using - earplugs even though earmuffs are usually provided (ie. wear both; during long exams the earmuffs may start to slip off).

      Finally, consider if having the MRI is really necessary in the first place (ie. is it "need-to-have" or "nice-to-have").
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    3. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Think I am going to just go for the Brain/IAC without contrast.
      Have not had my kidneys checked recently. Plus, as I got t from local anesthetic lidocaine, not sure I want another chemical pumped through my blood, until I am sure I have been able to dispose of the first one. Grrrr. Hopefully, it will show enough re nerve inflammation, edema etc. My audiogram and OAE came back normal.
      Any surgeons/doctors on here want to chirp in about what exactly the "without contrast" won't show, please do. @here2help and @Dr. Nagler
      Thanks, All.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      @Lisa88, perhaps it's time you discussed it with the doctor who ordered the test.

      I already gave you my thoughts here:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...mal-drug-induced-t-explained.4026/#post-38512

      And you even "Liked" that response.

      So I wonder exactly what it is you're looking for?

      Anyway, like I said, please discuss it with your doctor. In my opinion, ruminating about it is not going to help.

      All the best -

      Stephen
       
    5. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yes, @Dr. Nagler. Thank you. I did like that comment.
      In my comment to you above, just was wondering what will not be detected if I go for "without contrast".
      No worries. I will just go for it on Monday.
       
    6. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      The use of gadolinium increases the accuracy of an MRI of the brain and IACs. It picks up smaller lesions that might otherwise be missed.

      But again, if you have concerns, you should discuss it with your doctor.

      Stephen
       
    7. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Have terrible headache at left temple still 48 hours after MRI contrast dye injection plus increased t. Have been drinking lots of water to try flush it out.
      Anybody else experience this after MRI with contrast? And if so, how long did it last? Thanks.
      Not sure what to do.
       
    8. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I recently had an MRI with and without contrast--gadolinium. I didn't have any bad effects. Did you wear ear protection? I wore ear plugs and the cuffs that hold your head in place sort of covered my ears too. Maybe you are having a reaction to the contrast?

      I hope you feel better soon.
       
    9. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I have MRI's with dye frequently for another condition not related to T and I have never had any issues. I think you will be fine with a little time, you'll see!
       
    10. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thank you! Yes, headache is definitely reaction to the contrast dye this time. Was fine a couple of weeks ago after the non contrast MRI. Very skeptical of that dye - heavy metals that cross the blood brain barrier. I wonder how much of it stays in the system.
       
    11. Penelope33
      Torn

      Penelope33 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2013
      Just before my tinnitus started I had an mri with contrast dye. It was in fact the severe panic over the gadolinium that I only read up about after that was the final straw in my depression. I literally felt ill and nearly fainted/ had panic attacks over the thought of this dye in my body. Has anyone here had an mri with contrast?
      Is this commonly used when one has tinnitus?
       
    12. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I had an mri recently with gadolinium. I didn't have any bad effects from it at all. Before you can have the test with contrast they have to do bloodwork to make sure that your kidneys are okay to rid your body of the dye. I'm fine, really.
       
    13. Penelope33
      Torn

      Penelope33 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2013
      Do you live in the uk? I had no blood work done on me.... I've just read new stuff now on the net an article from jan 2014 that some of it stays in the body. It's scaring me still. :-(
       
    14. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      No Penelope, I live in the US but I work in healthcare so before I had the test I called the manager of Radiology--that is who is over the MRI in US hospitals. She assured me that the dye would not hurt me. I trust her and I have not had any ill effects. You are going to be fine. My GP and my ENT both told me to stay off the internet when it comes to my condition unless it was a trustworthy site. There is so much misinformation out there...some is mixed in with a bit of truth so it's hard to judge.
       
    15. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I had an MRI/MRA with gadolinium contrast dye, and had no problems with it. My doctor said to be sure to drink lots of water after the procedure, to flush out the kidneys.

      I'll admit that I had read up on it before the procedure, and was worried about the effects of the contrast dye. But no problems for me.

      I've heard that there is more chance of a problem with the iodine contrast dye that is given with CT scans. I haven't had that yet myself. Has anyone out there had a CT scan with contrast dye?
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    16. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress

      Yes Karen, I've had a CT scan w/contrast too. I'm a former smoker--quit years ago. My GP wanted to be sure I was okay so he ordered a CT scan on my lungs. Everything was good and no problem with the contrast.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    17. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Thanks, @Kathi! I'm glad to hear that there was no problem with the contrast dye with a CT scan.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Cassidy
      Wishful

      Cassidy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress Overdrive
      Terribly worried about this... not about the contrast increasing tinnitus but about the potential for systemic fibrosis (even though this only occurs in people with severe kidney failure) at any time up to a few months after the contrast was introduced. :nailbiting:
       
    19. Robb
      Question it

      Robb Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      I worried about this to, the truth is that contrast very rarely causes problems, meaning 1 in 100000 at least, which a german mri operator told me, as i was worried to :)
       
    20. Cassidy
      Wishful

      Cassidy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress Overdrive
      Thanks Robb, those odds are to my liking although I am hypothyroid + gilberts syndrome so just wondering if they can cause any issues regarding the contrast >.< i guess i'll just have to man up and see what happens...
       
    21. Laura89
      Tired

      Laura89 Member

      Location:
      Calgary, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 14, 2014
      Hey folks, I had a CTA 4 months ago for my pulsatile tinnitus, then another one today because the last one did not show my neck. I haven't had any issues so far. All good, I did worry a bit but I am just drinking tons of water to flush this out of my system. Most likely I'll need an MRI with contrast at some point in the future and I'll totally go for it if I have to. Don't worry too much about it, the chances of complications due to contrast dye are minimal. Though I would have preferred not having to put my body thru this it was something I needed to do.
       
    22. Cassidy
      Wishful

      Cassidy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress Overdrive
      Can someone help to answer whether you are injected with more contrast if you are scanning more body parts. Say if a person does a brain only MRI scan then will he/she receive less contrast than someone who has a brain/IAC/neck scan?

      Secondly, regarding tinnitus, my doc just ordered a scan of the Internal Auditory Canals - do you think that is enough or should the neck/brain be scanned as well?
       
    23. Laura89
      Tired

      Laura89 Member

      Location:
      Calgary, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 14, 2014
      Cassidy, I am not sure about the contrast. But regarding the other questions, I would say the more parts are scan the better. I mean, at least the brain, some people experience tinnitus when there is a tumour involved, so to rule that out and any other brain issues I say a scan of the brain is necessary. I think you should call your doc and ask about this :). Also some radiologists are super nice and will answer your questions right there before the scan, or at least that has been my experience where I live.
       
    24. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      The amount of dye used depends on your body weight. The dye is quite expensive and the cost of the procedure will therefore depend on your body mass; not always known to that many people (because the majority of the procedures are done via public health care and with no invoice involved, no doubt...).

      Depends on what you are trying diagnose...


      Remember earplugs; not always provided.
       
    25. Cassidy
      Wishful

      Cassidy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress Overdrive
      @attheedgeofscience and @Laura89 thank you both for your replies :)

      I'm not sure if you know but, say someone is of bigger size and gets a larger dose, would that also probably mean that, if an allergic reaction was to occur, it would be much worse than someone who got given a smaller dose? Or not necessarily in your opinion?

      And last question.... did anyone have any sort of strange sensations after getting the contrast which were NOT an allergic reaction (ex. warm sensation in the body or chest pain etc)?
       
    26. Laura89
      Tired

      Laura89 Member

      Location:
      Calgary, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 14, 2014
      I have only experienced the iodine contrast for CTA scans. If I am not mistaken the ones used for MRI's are different. But to answer your question about contrast, I felt a very warm sensation all over my body and a heavy feeling in my chest. Now I am not sure if the contrast for MRI's gives the same sensations...This only lasted like 30 seconds and then it was gone. and yeah... bring your own ear plugs :). Good luck on the test you will be alright.
       
    27. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      You're right, Laura. I've only had an MRI/MRA with contrast dye, and it was gadolinium. I had no problems with it, and did not experience that warm rush that you felt with the iodine. The main thing is to drink lots of water, both before and after the procedure, and you should be fine.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    28. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      MRI scan contrast dye is safe. It has a better safety profile than that of the contrast dye used for CT scans. And the scan itself has no side effects (unlike CT scans which expose the patient to about 200 times the radiation levels of a normal x-ray). So all in all, you are getting a good deal with the MRI scan option (image quality is also higher).

      Don't worry about side effects. And if they happen, then let it happen. Having redness near the site of injection on the arm is no big deal - it'll go away go again. Serious side effects are rare.
       
    29. Charina

      Charina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am very glad to have found this forum. I have an MRI scheduled for this Thursday of my brain and brain stem with and without contrast. I too am really worried about the contrast. IfI knew for sure I needed this MRI I would not question it, but it seems to be a nice to know type of order.
       
    30. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I have had many MRI's (for unrelated health problem) and dye has not been a problem for me
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.