Since the most commonly used compounds for contrast enhancement are gadolinium-based, which is toxic, would drinking very little water over the e.g. 5 hours after the MRI procedure result in some long-lasting effect (from disposition of gadolinium)?

Or can drinking a lot of water after that 5 hours can make up for drinking very little water over the 5 hours?

  • Did you do any research on this before asking the question? We require questions to demonstrate at least some minimal prior research here, but I don't see anything.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jul 1, 2021 at 4:13

1 Answer 1


Toxicity of gadolinium-based contrast agents can generally be classified as acute (short term) and chronic (longer term) and include¹:

  • Acute allergic-like reactions
  • Acute physiologic reaction
  • Chronic kidney injury (called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis)

Additionally, there is evidence that a small amount of contrast agent is retained in various tissues of the body (including the brain), for years¹, or potentially for life. The health effects of this gadolinium remain unknown.

Chronic kidney injury after gadolinium administration is overwhelmingly seen among individuals with pre-existing kidney disease¹.

There is some experimental evidence in animal models and retrospective review of patient data that suggests adequate intravenous hydration may decrease the risk of kidney injury².

However, for individuals without kidney disease, I can find no evidence that hydration, either IV or oral, would have any clear effect on any adverse effects of gadolinium.

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