I was recently diagnosed with a possible labrial tear in my right shoulder and the specialist would like to have an MRI w/ dye preformed to confirm this. My question is this "Is it absolutely necessary to have the MRI w/ dye (which is isolated in the shoulder) to make visible the tear and if so will it pose any danger to me? Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thank you.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
The dye in MRIs is called gadolinium. Adverse reactions are rare (<5%) but ones to be aware of are nausea, vomiting, itchiness, bronchospasm, throat edema, low blood pressure, and severe allergic reaction (aka anaphylaxis; incidence about 1 in 100,000). If your kidneys are working fine (i.e., your creatinine is okay), you should be able to clear the dye easily. If you have any kidney dysfunction (such as on dialysis, etc), you should discuss this with the radiologist prior to imaging as there is a condition called nephrogenic systemic sclerosis, which can cause sclerosis of the skin and internal organs. This only occurs in about 3-5% of this patient population.
Contrast is necessary to fully evaluate the shoulder. The contrast is taken up by inflamed structures and can help identify soft tissue damage. Without the contrast, it is difficult to fully evaluate.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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