Gadolinium, a popular contrast dye used in MRIs and MRAs, has been linked to serious adverse effects such as Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD).
On May 23, 2007, the FDA asked manufacturers of Gadolinium-based contrast agents to include a black box warning alerting patients to the risk of a potentially fatal disease, Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD).
Five gadolinium-based contrast agents have been approved for use in the United States:
- Magnevist (gadopentetate dimeglumine)
- Omniscan (gadodiamide)
- OptiMARK (gadoversetamide)
- MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine)
- Prohance (gadoteridol)
What is the problem with Gadolinium?
Gadolinium is a popular contrast dye used in MRIs and MRAs. Patients with kidney disease or chronic liver disease are at risk for developing Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy. The reason for this is that for Gadolinium contrasts to be effective, they must be given in doses three times more than that approved by the FDA. Those patients with kidney disease or chronic liver disease are unable to process and eliminate that amount of dye from the body. In a recent study, out of 186 kidney patients tested, 25 of those had developed symptoms consistent with NSF. Also, out of those 186, within two years, 25 of those patients had died. Compared to the 20% death rate of those without the illness, there is a 48% death rate for those with NSF.
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), also known as Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD), is a rare and serious syndrome that involves fibrosis of skin, joints, eyes, and internal organs. It usually affects the arms and legs but can also affect internal organs. Patients develop large areas of hardened skin with fibrotic nodules and plaques. The condition may develop over a short period of days or could take weeks to fully develop. Severely affected patients may be unable to walk, or fully extend the joints of their arms, hands, legs, and feet. Complaints of muscle weakness are common.
Side Effects of Gadolinium
There are a variety of side effects associated with Gadolinium. Our firm is pursing the following types of serious, life-threatening side effects:
- Hardening and tightening of the skin
- Red or dark patches on the skin
- Yellow spots on the whites of the eyes
- Stiffness in joints and trouble moving or straightening the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Pain deep in the hip bones or ribs
- Muscle weakness
- Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
- Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy