Gadolinium is a contrast agent administered to patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) procedures. This contrast agent provides supplementary diagnostic data to doctors as the gadolinium injected into the patient’s veins accumulates in tissue that is abnormal. Because gadolinium gathers around aberrant cell growths or tumors, its use helps doctors better diagnose and treat their patients. However, some patients exposed to gadolinium have experienced devastating and sometimes deadly side effects, specifically those with kidney disease or dysfunction.
The side effects of Gadolinium were first recognized in 1997. In 2006, its use was linked to the development of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis / Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NFD) in certain patients. Symptoms of NSF/NFD include: hardening/thickening of the skin, restricted movement, trouble breathing, organ paralysis, and death. Doctors discovered that the majority of patients suffering adverse side effects from exposure to contrast agents were those with impaired kidney function. Because patients with impaired kidney function are not able to sufficiently remove waste from their bloodstream, toxic reactions to the gadolinium have occurred in these patients.
The five FDA approved contrast agents and their makers are: Magnevist (Bayer Healthcare), MultiHance (Bracco), Omniscan (GE Healthcare), OptiMARK (Mallinckrodt), and ProHance (Bracco). While these five contrast agents have been approved by the FDA, their manufacturers failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the potential risks associated with their use, especially for those with kidney disease or dysfunction. In 2007, the FDA ordered these manufacturers to include black box warnings regarding the potential side effects and hazards related to the use of these contrast agents in or on their packaging.
Doctors and patients were not made fully aware of the risks associated with the use of gadolinium. Currently, there are lawsuits being pursued throughout the country related to illnesses and deaths suffered by those exposed to gadolinium. Individuals that have been diagnosed with NSF/NFD or have suffered other adverse reactions to gadolinium exposure should contact an attorney for a consultation. Individuals adversely impacted by the use of gadolinium during MRI or MRA procedures may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of gadolinium-induced NSF or NFD, it is very important that you contact and experienced personal injury lawyer, such as LaBovick Law Group, to learn more about your legal rights and options.
If you wish to discuss your matter with an experienced lawyer, please fill out the form to the right or call Toll Free: 1-888-777-3884.