The FDA has approved gadofosveset trisodium (Vasovist Injection) to enhance images of blood flow in patients undergoing magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease. An MRA can be conducted without any contrast agent, but radiologists can't interpret the images in 10% to 30% of instances. To evaluate these hard-to-see vessels, radiologists typically use angiography requiring arterial catheterization and contrast media administration. Complications include vessel wall injury and nephrotoxicity.
Vasovist is injected into a peripheral vein, considerably lowering these risks, as well as decreasing patient discomfort and recovery time. Unlike angiography, MRA doesn't expose patients to ionizing radiation.
Potential adverse reactions to Vasovist include allergic reactions and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, a serious but rare syndrome. A boxed warning and information about this syndrome is included with all drugs containing gadolinium. For more information, visit the FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov.