Gadolinium is a chemical element used in image contrast agents during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) procedures. Once injected, gadolinium-based contrast agents accumulate in abnormal tissues of the brain and body. This accumulation provides a greater contrast between normal and abnormal tissues, allowing doctors to better locate uncommon cell growths and tumors. Recently this drug has come under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration due to gadolinium side effects such as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis / nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD).
Recent studies have shown that gadolinium, a contrast agent used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), possesses serious side effects, some of which are fatal. The FDA has demanded that the respective manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents place a black box warning on the labels. A black box warning is the strongest action taken by the federal government next to a total recall.
There are several side effects associated with gadolinium exposure, with the most serious being nephrogenic systemic fibrosis / nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD). This disease affects connective tissues throughout the body. Patients who become afflicted with NSF/NFD could experience a hardening of the skin, which could lead to joint immobility. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis / nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy can also affect the thigh muscles, lower abdomen, diaphragm and lung vessels. Due to the hardening of the skin and the impact on the lungs and diaphragm, breathing could be restricted in certain patients, causing breathing difficulties and subsequently death. Currently, no known, effective treatment has been discovered for NSF/NFD.
While NSF/NFD may be the most serious side effects associated with gadolinium, there is a long list of more common conditions associated with exposure to gadolinium. These include:
impaired kidney function
irritation of blood vessels
skin conditions, including rashes, itching and hives
Types of Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents
The FDA originally approved the first gadolinium-based contrast agent in 1988; today, five such drugs are on the market. Although Omniscan is used most often, the FDA has yet to determine if one gadolinium-based contrast agent poses a greater risk of NSF/NFD than the others. The five available agents are:
OptiMARK (gadoversetamide), manufactured by Mallinckrodt.
ProHance (gadoteridol), manufactured by Bracco.
Magnevist (gadopentetate dimeglumine), manufactured by Bayer Healthcare.
MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine), manufactured by Bracco.
Omniscan (gadodiamide), manufactured by GE Healthcare.
Numerous afflicted patients have successfully brought gadolinium lawsuits against the manufacturers of these defective drugs. The inability of these manufacturers to successfully manufacture a safe, effective product may make them liable for any injury or death associated with a gadolinium-based contrast agent. The gadolinium lawyers at Levin, Simes, Kaiser & Gornick possess an extensive amount of experience successfully defending the rights of gadolinium victims throughout the United States. To learn more about your legal rights and explore any opportunity for compensation, contact their offices at (877) LSKG-LAW.