Safety of gadoterate meglumine in children younger than 2 years of age

Shannon G. Farmakis, Anna K. Hardy, Shamsheldeen Y. Mahmoud, Scott A. Wilson-Flewelling, Ting Y. Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Few studies on the safety of gadolinium-based contrast agents have been performed in children with even fewer focusing on children younger than 2 years of age. Objective: To assess the safety of gadoterate meglumine (Dotarem) in patients younger than 2 years of age by evaluating adverse events following contrast administration. Materials and methods: Pediatric patients younger than 2 years of age undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with and without contrast were prospectively enrolled and received a weight-based intravenous dose of gadoterate meglumine (0.1 mmol/kg). The occurrence of adverse events was assessed at the time of injection, 2 h after MRI, and by phone contact using a standard questionnaire 24 h after MRI. Adverse events were documented including the time of onset, duration of symptoms, intensity, causality and subsequent outcome. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize patient information. Results: One hundred fifty exams were completed in 150 patients (median age: 12.1 months, age range: 0.25–23 months; males: 56%). Almost all patients (97.3%) received sedation/anesthesia before and during MRI. Thirty-four adverse events were reported in 23 patients overall (15.3%; male: 73.9%; median age: 11 months, age range: 3–23 months). Within the initial 2 h after the injection, there was one report of transient flushing/warmth and one report of vomiting, the latter of which was related to drinking formula too soon after anesthesia. Twenty-two patients (14.7%), who had all received sedation/anesthesia, experienced minor adverse events within 24 h, most physiological. Fourteen patients (9.3%) reported emesis, eight (5.3%) reported transient flushing/warmth, seven (4.7%) reported nausea, one (0.7%) reported altered taste and one (0.7%) reported dizziness. No patient experienced anaphylaxis. Two patients (1.3%) reported allergic-like reactions, which consisted of wheezing or sneezing. Conclusion: No patient experienced adverse events directly related to gadoterate meglumine. Only two adverse events were reported to have occurred in the initial 2 h after the exam, while the rest were reported on the 24-h follow-up call. The higher reported rate of adverse events in this study may be related to concomitant sedation/anesthesia as well as to overreporting from parents on the 24-h follow-up questionnaire. The study confirms a good safety profile for gadoterate meglumine in this very sensitive population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Adverse events
  • Children
  • Dotarem
  • Gadoterate meglumine
  • Infants
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Safety


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