MRI w/contrast agent: Any advise on having... - Early CKD Support

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MRI w/contrast agent


Any advise on having MRI with contrast agent? I need one on my liver but am petrified as I've read it's dangerous for CKD patients. I'm stage 3. PCP and Nephrologist said it's not dangerous unless you are stage 5, but it's not their life! Has anyone been thru this?

22 Replies

Hi, I have a kidney transplant and I had one last month, no problems at all, and no lasting affect on my kidney, I was just told to drink more so it would clear out my system .

Sunglobe in reply to flippy

Thank you!

Hi there, I needed one a few years ago. Sorry but I can't remember whether I was at stage 3, 4 or 5. I moved quite quickly between the stages. I read the same advice so refused to have the dye. They said that was fine and they did the scan without it. They still got the results they wanted. Like you say, it's your body, your life.

Hope this helps,

Best wishes, Mgt

Sunglobe in reply to Mgt8

Thank, another option!

Hidden in reply to Mgt8

I had scan with dye but had reaction to it so when I had my 2nd scan and mri without dye it was fine they got results and I had no reaction

Mgt8 in reply to Hidden

Glad to hear you found a way thorough this....👍

Your nephrologist can order hydration prior to the scan, you have to ask for it, but I have had it done. They will have you come in about an hour before your scan and they will give you IV fluids. They will take you off of the fluids while they perform the contrast scan and then, if you had more left, they can run the rest of the IV bag through. This will flush out the contrast rapidly from your system.

Again, I had to ask specifically for it - but it is a fairly common thing for people with CKD.

Sunglobe in reply to jayzeeee

Thank you, I find my Nephrologit pretty low key and not very proactive- thank you again for this option!

purple-1974 in reply to jayzeeee

Yes I had exactly the same, iv fluids before and after. 8 hrs in total and my gfr is stable. I was admitted to hospital for abdominal pains and needed a CT scan.

I have just one kidney. Other removed in 2017 due to cancer. My egfr is between 38 to 43, depending on the day/test. I have tumors in my pelvis and spine. I can hardly count how many MRI's I have had since 2017, but it is a lot. Nothing to worry about. Each MRI I have had contrast. BUT what they do is get your egfr level no more than a day or two before the test. Depending on the level the adjust the AMOUNT of contrast you are given. At my level I always get a reduced amount of contrast. Then after I'm told to be sure to drink a lot of water to get it out of my system quicker. But don't worry, they will look at your kidney function and adjust the amount of contrast accordingly. And if you never had an MRI before, don't worry about it either. For just your liver it should be fairly quick. It is loud, but painless. They offer you music, via headphones, but I always refuse it since you can hardly hear it anyway. My last one of the total spine took over 2 hours. The hardest part is laying perfectly still that long.

Yes it is dangerous your kidneys.

I personally would do some research on it . Then get a second opinion. There must be a less invasive and safer type test that can be done .

Thank you Seabreezegirl.....I can see different opinions here and it is very hard, I've sent a message to my Nephrologist on options mentioned to see what he says, I'll let you all know, but yes I've read a lot on it too & we all react differently to all these chemicals!

I have had a kidney transplant and "needed" to have a CT scan with contrast earlier this year. My nephrologist has me hydrate myself the day before and drink a lot of water right after. About 2 weeks after the scan he orders my renal labs just to double check on things.

Sunglobe in reply to WYOAnne

WYOAnne-thank you! You all sound like you have really good doctors. When I first asked about the dye he said no concerns- just do it. I've written another msg today with suggestions gotten here- I'll see what he says. Thank you!

WYOAnne in reply to Sunglobe

If your doctor is still unconcerned even after your message, maybe it's time to get a new doctor. I have not had any issues with contrast, but there are a lot of people that have. You can go to MED MD. there are even reviews posted.

Take care

Wow Rick, I can see you've been thru so much and you are a wealth of knowledge. This group is a godsend, way more info is relayed that by the Dr's. I myself had breast & colon cancer years ago and wonder if all that chemo cancer patients have effects the kidneys down the road- probably, but no choice there! I'll ask my Dr. for these precautions and hope he agrees- Thank you so much!

RickHow in reply to Sunglobe

I get immunotherapy for my cancer (kidney that has spread to my bones) every 3 weeks. It is IV treatment. Before each treatment they check my blood with particular attention to my egfr. The drug (keytruda) like many immunotherapy and chemo drugs of course has some effects on body organs (kidney). But it has been 21 treatments so far and my egfr has remained steady. I questioned by kidney doctor about the effects of such drugs. As she put it you have to take the drugs no matter the kidney function. There is no sense in giving the kidney priority over the chemo.

Hi Flippy I have ckd3 and had an MRI with dye. A month later I went for my check up with the Nephrologist and he said my kidney function went down at this time, because of dehydration after the MRI. But it did go back up I have 40 gfr. If you need to have it then drink water straight after.

Hope this helps.

Sunglobe in reply to Bee28

Thank you Bee28, so much to know! Sounds like good advice for sure.

RickHow in reply to Bee28

This is very surprising to read. Why an MRI would cause dehydration that would "hurt" the kidney one month later. And that the kidney function then returned to your normal after that. But the good news is you are back to your normal. With each MRI I get an instruction sheet that states to drink a lot of water the day of the MRI at completion of the MRI.

Hi Sunglobe. I understand your concern. If it is of any help to you, I can say that I have had an annual MRI scan with contrast for the past three years, with no permanent ill effects.

I always inform them about my CKD Stage 3a concerns and ensure that I drink plenty of water both before and after the MRI scan to clear the contrast as quickly as possible. It has usually coincided with (caused?) a four point drop in my eGFR, but that has always returned to its former level.

I think it is important to make the medical staff aware of your concerns so that they can make any necessary adjustments. On one occasion, they actually did a blood test as I lay on the scanner, to check that it was safe to proceed with contrast. It was!

Very best wishes.

Sunglobe in reply to HRWB

thank you! most of the replies have said to let the medical staff know & that seems the best route. I just wish the doctors would make sure it is noted when they order the scan. thank you again!

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