Basic experimental studies and clinical aspects of gadolinium salts and chelates

Cardiovasc Drug Rev. Spring 2001;19(1):41-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-3466.2001.tb00182.x.


Gadolinium is a lanthanide that has in recent years become more commonly present in our society. Organic chelates of gadolinium are increasingly used as contrast agents for the imaging of body fluids. Although adverse reactions to these agents are uncommon, it is known that gadolinium salts can bring about a wide variety of changes in physiology. Gadolinium chloride is widely used experimentally as an inhibitor of stretch-activated ion channels and physiological responses of tissues to mechanical stimulation. It is also employed as a selective inhibitor of macrophages in vivo. In this review, the known biochemical actions of gadolinium are brought together with its in vivo pharmacology and toxicology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology*
  • Gadolinium / adverse effects
  • Gadolinium / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Mechanoreceptors / drug effects
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects


  • Contrast Media
  • Ion Channels
  • Gadolinium
  • gadolinium chloride