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Pain May Occur After Magnetic Resonance Arthrography

Patients reported most pronounced pain shortly after procedure, which was gone within week

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients may notice pain following magnetic resonance arthrography, particularly several hours after the procedure, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

Nadja Saupe, M.D., of the Orthopedic University Hospital Balgrist in Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,085 adults who underwent magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee or ankle (using 2 mmol/L gadopentetate dimeglumine for contrast) or wrist (using 5 mmol/L gadoterate dimeglumine).

Patient-reported pain was highest four hours after the injection, but resolved within a week, the researchers report. Patients under the age of 30 reported more pronounced pain. Contrast agent volume, patient sex, joint type, and experience of the radiologist weren't significantly associated with pain scores, the investigators found. No signs of joint infection or severe side effects were seen in the patients.

"MR arthrography is more accurate than standard MR imaging in the detection of many internal derangements. However, MR arthrography has an invasive component and may cause pain and anxiety. In rare instances, severe complications, such as infection, may occur," the authors write. "In conclusion, MR arthrography temporarily increases joint-related contrast medium pain. Such pain depends on patient age but does not depend on joint type, injected contrast medium volume, sex, or radiologist experience."

Two co-authors disclosed salary support from Bayer Schering Pharma.

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