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Open AccessArticle

The Choice of Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents: A Radiologist’s Responsibility between Pharmaceutical Equivalence and Bioethical Issues

Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopaedic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 336, 00185 Rome (RM), Italy
IRCCS Neuromed, Via Atinense 18, 86077 Pozzilli (IS), Italy
Department of Radiology, University of Foggia, Viale Luigi Pinto 1, 71100 Foggia (FG), Italy
Department of Radiology, Scientific Institute “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo, Viale Cappuccini 1, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2017, 9(11), 287;
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Imaging and Imaging Modalities)
Contrast Agents (CA) are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide, and are used, with a variety of techniques, to increase and intensify the differences between body tissues and to help radiologist make diagnoses in a fast and precise way. In recent decades, advancements in research have resulted in significant improvements in their composition, and have made them safer and better-tolerated by patients; this notwithstanding, although the currently available CA are generally considered to be safe, their use is not completely without risk. The use of CA faces the radiologist with economic considerations, bioethical dilemmas, and possible profiles of professional responsibility. In fact, to achieve the best results in diagnostic imaging, radiologists have to focus on making an appropriate choice of CA, in consideration of efficacy, safety and appropriateness. Moreover, besides by cost/benefit models widely introduced in health management, radiologists are also influenced by their responsibility of appropriate use for the various diagnostic tests and, finally, the choice of best CA to utilise for each individual patient. Thus, the dilemma of choosing between the best and the most cost-effective tests and procedures is occurring more frequently every day. Different variables, such as the patient, examinations, and technology available, can affect the choice of CA in terms of obtaining the highest diagnostic quality, minimum impact on higher-risk patients, and optimisation of used volumes and injection flows. View Full-Text
Keywords: contrast agents; pharmaceutical equivalence; gadolinium; radiologist contrast agents; pharmaceutical equivalence; gadolinium; radiologist
MDPI and ACS Style

Cartocci, G.; Santurro, A.; La Russa, R.; Guglielmi, G.; Frati, P.; Fineschi, V. The Choice of Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents: A Radiologist’s Responsibility between Pharmaceutical Equivalence and Bioethical Issues. Symmetry 2017, 9, 287.

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