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November 2014

December 1, 2017



Peter Caravan, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Harvard Medical School
Associate Director, Institute for Innovation in Imaging
Massachusetts General Hospital

Alexander Guimaraes, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Harvard Medical School
Associate Radiologist,
Director, Interventional MRI
Medical Director, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Massachusetts General Hospital




Hardware and Software Needed to Participate
PC: Win7/Win8, Pentium processor or faster, at least 2GB RAM, Internet Explorer version 10/11, Mozilla FireFox version 33.0.

MAC: OS version 10.8/10.9, Intel processor, at least 2GB RAM, Safari version 6.2, FireFox 33.0



A certified one-hour online activity for radiologists and other healthcare practitioners who are responsible for the administration and safe use of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients.


Format: Online Self-Study
MD Credit:  1.0 AMA PRA Category 1
RT Credit:    No ARRT credit available (this course is for physician credit only)
Fee for Credit Certificate: $0


Course Overview

Given the growing number of FDA-approved gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs), radiologists and other healthcare practitioners who are responsible for the administration and safe use of gadolinium-based contrast agents must be aware of the various structural classes of GBCAs and the effects of varying physicochemical properties on image conspicuity, disease detection, and patient safety.

The goal of this CME activity is to provide clinicians an overview of FDA-approved GBCAs and examine the physicochemical characteristics of GBCAs as they relate to the safety and efficacy of MR imaging. This comprehensive presentation reviews the three stability classes of GBCAs: non-ionic linear agents, ionic linear agents, and macrocyclic agents; discusses the importance of relaxivity and concentration; and illustrates how relaxivity and concentration contribute to the level of enhancement that can be achieved. Case examples with images that demonstrate the impact of physicochemical factors on enhancement are included.

Educational Objectives
At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • Categorize FDA-approved MRI GBCAs into one of the following structural classes: nonionic linear, ionic linear, and macrocyclic
  • Describe how the class of a GBCA relates to the complex stability of an agent
  • Recognize the relationship between complex stability and the potential impact on patient safety
  • Describe how relaxivity and concentration contribute to the level of enhancement achieved in an MRI study

Accreditation & Credit

ACCME Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and International Center for Postgraduate Medical Education. The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The European Accreditation Council for CME (EACCME®)
The UEMS-EACCME® has mutual recognition agreements with the American Medical Association (AMA) for live events and e-learning materials. For more information go to

How to Enroll and Participate
This activity is available for viewing on PCs, laptops, and iPads.

  • Click on the "ENROLL NOW" and follow the instructions to enroll in this course online.
  • The course will be accessible from your "MY ACCOUNT" page.
  • View each chapter by clicking on the chapter title.

There are no fees for credit. Estimated time to complete this activity is 1 hour. To receive credit, view the entire program and submit the required POSTTEST and EVALUATION.

  • Log-in to your account by clicking LOG IN in the upper right corner of the home page at
  • Click MY ACCOUNT in the upper right corner of your computer screen.
  • To access the course click on the course name located in your online account.
  • From the COURSE HOME page, click the buttons for POSTTEST and for EVALUATION.
  • A passing grade of at least 75% is required on the POSTTEST to receive credit. You may take the test up to three times.
  • Upon receipt of a passing grade, you will be able to print a certificate of credit from your online account.

Peter Caravan PhD
Dr. Caravan received his BSc with honors from Acadia University and his PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia. His post-doctoral research was performed at Université de Lausanne.

Dr. Caravan has more than 15 years of academic and industrial experience in the design, synthesis, and evaluation of targeted imaging probes. Before joining Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Caravan spent several years at Epix Pharmaceuticals developing tissue-specific MRI contrast agents and was ultimately responsible for all contrast agent research. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles on the chemistry, biophysics, and applications of imaging probes.

Dr. Caravan has contributed a highly cited review (>2000 citations) on the chemistry of gadolinium-based contrast agents as well as written several book chapters on the properties and applications of contrast agents.

Alexander Guimaraes, MD, PhD
Dr. Guimaraes received his MD at Harvard Medicine School and PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both his radiology residency and fellowship were completed at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Guimaraes specializes in the both the clinical and research aspects of gastrointestinal cancers, including liver and pancreatic cancer.

His research interests are in developing, analyzing, and translating novel magnetic resonance pulse sequence paradigms and applying novel targeted contrast agents for the goal of better means of quantifying angiogenesis and other relevant biomarkers in both cancer models and in humans undergoing clinical trials. These interests stem from his scientific background in magnetic resonance imaging pulse sequence design and clinical background in abdominal imaging.

Well published, Dr. Guimaraes has authored or co-authored over 50 publications on abdominal imaging and MRI.

Disclosure Information
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) requires instructors, planners, managers and other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest (COI) they may have as related to the content of this activity. All identified COI are thoroughly vetted and resolved according to PIM policy.  PIM is committed to providing its learners with high quality CME activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

The faculty below reported no financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity of any amount during the past 12 months:

Peter Caravan, PhD
Alexander Guimaraes, MD, PhD

The following planners and managers have reported NO financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity of any amount during the past 12 months.

Sharon Cancino
Laura Excell, ND, NP, MS, MA, LPC, NCC
Trace Hutchison, PharmD
Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CCMEP
Linda McLean, MS
Victoria Phoenix,BS
Jan Schultz, RN, MSN, CCMEP

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications. 

The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners.  Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

For questions regarding this program, please contact ICPME:
Phone: 607-257-5860

Jointly Provided by


This activity is supported by an independent grant from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.

Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.