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Mechanism Of Action

Gadoxetate disodium is a paramagnetic compound and develops a magnetic moment when placed in a magnetic field. The relatively large magnetic moment produced by gadoxetate disodium results in a local magnetic field, yielding enhanced relaxation rates (shortening of relaxation times) of water protons in the vicinity of the paramagnetic agent, which leads to an increase in signal intensity (brightening) of blood and tissue.

In MRI, visualization of normal and pathological tissue depends in part on variations in the radiofrequency signal intensity that occur with 1) differences in proton density; 2) differences of the spin-lattice or longitudinal relaxation times (T1); and 3) differences in the spin-spin or transverse relaxation time (T2). When placed in a magnetic field, gadoxetate disodium decreases the T1 and T2 relaxation time in target tissue. At the recommended dose, the effect is observed with greatest sensitivity in T1-weighted MR sequences.


EOB-DTPA forms a stable complex with the paramagnetic gadolinium ion with a thermodynamic stability of log KGdL=-23.46. Gadoxetate disodium is a highly water-soluble, hydrophilic compound with a lipophilic moiety, the ethoxybenzyl group (EOB). Gadoxetate disodium shows a weak ( < 10%), transient protein binding and the relaxivity in plasma is about 8.7 L/mmol/sec at pH 7, 39°C and 0.47 T.

Gadoxetate disodium is selectively taken up by hepatocytes [see Pharmacokinetics] resulting in increased signal intensity in liver tissue.

EOVIST exhibits a biphasic mode of action: first, distribution in the extracellular space after bolus injection and subsequently, selective uptake by hepatocytes (and biliary excretion) due to the lipophilic (EOB) moiety.



After intravenous administration, the plasma concentration time profile of gadoxetate disodium is characterized by a bi-exponential decline. The total distribution volume of gadoxetate disodium at steady state is about 0.21 L/kg (extracellular space); plasma protein binding is less than 10%. Gadoxetate disodium does not pass the intact blood-brain barrier and diffuses through the placental barrier [see Nonclinical Toxicology].


Gadoxetate disodium is equally eliminated via the renal and hepatobiliary routes. The mean terminal elimination half-life of gadoxetate disodium (0.01 to 0.1 mmol/kg) has been observed in healthy volunteers of 22-39 years of age to be 0.91 to 0.95 hour. Clearance appeared to decrease slightly with increasing age. The pharmacokinetics are dose-linear up to a dose of 0.4 mL/kg (0.1 mmol/kg), which is 4 times the recommended dose [see Use in Specific Populations].

A total serum clearance (Cltot) was 250 mL/min, whereas the renal clearance (Clr) corresponds to about 120 mL/min, a value similar to the glomerular filtration rate in healthy subjects.


Gadoxetate disodium is not metabolized.

Animal Toxicology And/Or Pharmacology

A dose-related increase in QTc which was resolved by 30 minutes post dosing was observed in dogs when given a single dose of EOVIST. The increase was noted when given in doses equal to or greater than 0.1 mmol/kg (2.2 times the human dose). Maximum increase in QTcF was equal to or less than 20 ms at doses up to 0.5 mmol/kg (11 times the human dose).

A gait disturbance was observed in 1 of 3 mice when given EOVIST at a dose of approximately 1.1 mmol/kg (3.6 times the human dose); the disturbance occurred at 30 minutes post dosing and resolved at 4 hours post dosing.

Local intolerance reactions, including moderate interstitial hemorrhage, edema, and focal muscle fiber necrosis, were observed after intramuscular administration of EOVIST [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Clinical Studies

Patients with suspected or known focal liver lesions were enrolled in two of four non-randomized, intrapatient-controlled studies that evaluated predominantly the detection (studies 1 and 2) or morphological characterization (studies 3 and 4) of liver lesions. Studies 1 and 2 (“detection” studies) enrolled patients who were scheduled for liver surgery. MRI results were compared to a reference standard that consisted of surgical histopathology and the results from intra-operative ultrasound of the liver. The studies assessed the sensitivity of pre-contrast MRI and EOVIST-contrasted MRI for the detection of liver lesions, when each set of images was compared to the reference.

Studies 3 and 4 (“characterization” studies) enrolled patients with known or suspected focal liver lesions, including patients who were not scheduled for liver surgery. MRI results were compared to a reference standard that consisted of surgical histopathology and other prospectively defined criteria. The studies assessed the correctness of liver lesion characterization by pre-contrast MRI and EOVIST-contrasted MRI, when each set of images was compared to the reference. Lesions were characterized as one of the following choices: hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, metastasis, focal lymphoma, adenoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, hemangioma, abscess, focal liver fibrosis, regenerative nodule, focal fat, hydatid cyst, liver cyst, “not assessable”, normal, no lesion or “other.”

In all four studies, patients underwent a baseline, pre-contrast MRI followed by the administration of EOVIST at a dose of 0.025 mmol/kg, with MRI performed immediately (the “dynamic” phase) and at 10 to 20 minutes following EOVIST administration (the “hepatocyte” phase). Patients also underwent computerized tomography with contrast examinations of the liver. Pre-contrast MRI and EOVIST-contrasted MR images were evaluated in a systematic, randomized, paired and unpaired fashion by three radiologists who were blinded to clinical information. CT images were also evaluated by the radiologists in a separate reading session.

Diagnostic efficacy was determined in 621 patients. The average age was 57 years (range 19 to 84 years) and 54% were male. The ethnic representations were 90% Caucasian, 4% Black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 1% of other ethnic groups.

The combination of non-contrasted and EOVIST-contrasted MR images had improved sensitivity for the detection and characterization of liver lesions, compared to pre-contrasted MR images (Tables 3 and 4). The improved sensitivity in detection of lesions was predominantly related to the detection of additional lesions among patients with multiple lesions on the pre-contrast MR images. The false positive rates for detection of lesions were similar for non-contrasted MR images and EOVIST-contrasted MR images (32% versus 34%, respectively). Liver lesion detection and characterization results were similar between CT and the combination of pre-contrasted and EOVIST-contrasted MR images.

TABLE 3 : Sensitivity in Liver Lesion Detection

Diagnostic Procedure Reader Study 1 Sensitivity (%)
Study 2 Sensitivity (%)
Pre-contrast MRI Reader 1 76 77
Reader 2 76 73
Reader 3 71 72
Combined pre- and EOVIST-contrast MRI Reader 1 81 82
Reader 2 78 76
Reader 3 74 78
combined pre + EOVIST- Reader 1 5 (1, 9)* 5 (1, 9)*
contrast MRI minus pre MRI Reader 2 2 (-1, 5) 3 (-1, 7)
(95% confidence interval) Reader 3 3 (0, 6)* 6(0, 10)*
* Statistically significant improvement

TABLE 4 : Proportion of Correctly Characterized Lesions

Diagnostic Procedure Reader Study 3 Study 4
n Proportion correct (%) * * n Proportion correct (%) * *
Pre-contrast MRI Reader 1 182 51 177 60
Reader 2 182 59 177 64
Reader 3 182 53 177 48
Combined pre- and EOVIST-contrast MRI Reader 1 182 67 177 61
Reader 2 182 76 177 76
Reader 3 182 58 177 67
Difference: combined pre-and EOVIST-contrast MRI minus pre-contrast MRI (95% confidence interval) Reader 1   16 (7, 25)*   1 (-7, 10)
Reader 2   17 (9, 25)*   11 (5, 18)*
Reader 3   5 (-2, 12)   19 (11, 27)*
* statistically significant improvement ** proportion of correctly characterized lesions with respect to the reference

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/6/2016
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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