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Use of Gadolinium in MRI

TWHladyinLVTTWHladyinLV Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Lower Back Pain
I just had another MRI of the Lumbar spine with Gadolinium. Can someone explain exactly what the contrast does? I had a microdisection of L 3-4 and L 4-5 in 1/09 and think I may have redamaged something. My surgeon did not have a good look on his face when he looked at the X-ray before he ordered the MRI.


  • This is what I was told - granted very basic. The contrast for the T2 weight allows for the inflammation to show better (liquids)- bright white, and too if you have hardware, it makes it a little easier to see if there are issues there. Without the contrast, everything is pretty dark around the fusion site.

    It is also ordered to see cancers, vessels, swelling (for the fluid in inflammation etc.) better.

    I know others can describe it better, but this is the "Plain Jane" version. Hope it helps. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • It's used if you have had surgery before - as it's difficult to see x-rays if there is previous scar tissue. The Gadolinium allows the radiographer to see a much brighter, clearer picture.

    That's my understanding of its use - but I'm no expert.

    After my first discectomy 5 years ago, it was used in all subsequent x-rays, MRI's etc. (I've since had a second discectomy and 2-level fusion) so there's probably a bit of scar tissue there now.

    Hope this helps you?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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  • Did you re-injure your older damage and then require the fusion ?
    I'm afraid that's what I have done
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