Multicenter safety and practice for off-label diagnostic use of ferumoxytol in MRI

Kim Lien Nguyen*, Takegawa Yoshida, Nikhita Kathuria-Prakash, Islam H. Zaki, Csanad G. Varallyay, Scott I. Semple, Rola Saouaf, Cynthia K. Rigsby, Sokratis Stoumpos, Kevin K. Whitehead, Lindsay M. Griffin, David Saloner, Michael D. Hope, Martin R. Prince, Mark A. Fogel, Mark L. Schiebler, Giles H. Roditi, Aleksandra Radjenovic, David E. Newby, Edward A. NeuweltMustafa R. Bashir, Peng Hu, J. Paul Finn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Background: Ferumoxytol is approved for use in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia, but it can serve as an alternative to gadolinium-based contrast agents. On the basis of postmarketing surveillance data, the Food and Drug Administration issued a black box warning regarding the risks of rare but serious acute hypersensitivity reactions during fast high-dose injection (510 mg iron in 17 seconds) for therapeutic use. Whereas single-center safety data for diagnostic use have been positive, multicenter data are lacking. Purpose: To report multicenter safety data for off-label diagnostic ferumoxytol use. Materials and Methods: The multicenter ferumoxytol MRI registry was established as an open-label nonrandomized surveillance databank without industry involvement. Each center monitored all ferumoxytol administrations, classified adverse events (AEs) using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (grade 1-5), and assessed the relationship of AEs to ferumoxytol administration. AEs related to or possibly related to ferumoxytol injection were considered adverse reactions. The core laboratory adjudicated the AEs and classified them with the American College of Radiology (ACR) classification. Analysis of variance was used to compare vital signs. Results: Between January 2003 and October 2018, 3215 patients (median age, 58 years; range, 1 day to 96 years; 1897 male patients) received 4240 ferumoxytol injections for MRI. Ferumoxytol dose ranged from 1 to 11 mg per kilogram of body weight (≤510 mg iron; rate ≤45 mg iron/sec). There were no systematic changes in vital signs after ferumoxytol administration (P . .05). No severe, life-threatening, or fatal AEs occurred. Eighty-three (1.9%) of 4240 AEs were related or possibly related to ferumoxytol infusions (75 mild [1.8%], eight moderate [0.2%]). Thirty-one AEs were classified as allergiclike reactions using ACR criteria but were consistent with minor infusion reactions observed with parenteral iron. Conclusion: Diagnostic ferumoxytol use was well tolerated, associated with no serious adverse events, and implicated in few adverse reactions. Registry results indicate a positive safety profile for ferumoxytol use in MRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-564
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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