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Safety of ferumoxytol in children undergoing cardiac MRI under general anaesthesia

  • Lisa Wise-Faberowski (a1) (a2), Nathalia Velasquez (a1), Frandics Chan (a1) (a3), Shreyas Vasanawala (a1) (a3), Doff B. McElhinney (a1) (a4) and Chandra Ramamoorthy (a1) (a2)...

Ferumoxytol, an “off-label” contrast agent, allows for better cardiac MRI quality as compared with gadolinium-based contrast agents. However, hypotension has been reported with the use of ferumoxytol for indications other than cardiac MRI. The purpose of our investigation was to evaluate the safety of ferumoxytol in children undergoing general anaesthesia for cardiac MRI.


Medical records of children undergoing general anaesthesia for cardiac MRI were reviewed. Baseline demographic and medical characteristics, as well as imaging and anaesthetic duration and technique, were collected. The incidence of hypotension or other adverse events’, need for vasoactive support, or airway intervention throughout the anaesthetic, was recorded.


A total of 95 patients were identified, 61 received ferumoxytol and 34 received gadolinium. There were no significant differences between groups with respect to age, weight, or baseline blood pressure. The incidence of low blood pressure – systolic or mean – after contrast administration did not differ between groups, and there was no difference in sustained hypotension or use of vasopressors between groups. One patient who received ferumoxytol had possible anaphylaxis. The image acquisition time (45 versus 68 min, p=0.002) and anaesthesia duration (100 versus 132 min, p=0.02) were shorter in the ferumoxytol group.


Transient low blood pressure was common in children undergoing cardiac MRI with anaesthesia, but the incidence of hypotension did not differ between ferumoxytol and gadolinium groups. The use of ferumoxytol was associated with significantly shorter scan time and anaesthesia duration, as well as a decreased need for airway intervention.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: L. Wise-Faberowski, Department of Anesthesiology, Stanford University/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, 300 Pasteur Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA. Tel: 650 24 1705; Fax: 650 725 8544; E-mail:
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Cardiology in the Young
  • ISSN: 1047-9511
  • EISSN: 1467-1107
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