Injuries Caused by MRI Contrast Agents
Attorney for Product Liability Claims & Lawsuits
The side effects of gadolinium contrast agents have been linked to the development of a debilitating illness called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFS/NFD). This condition affects patients with kidney disease or renal failure and has been found to develop as a result of the use of gadolinium.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with one of these conditions and was exposed to an MRI contrast agent, this may be the cause of your illness. A product liability lawyer at our law firm can become involved to investigate the matter and determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit. We have also included some helpful information regarding this topic on this page.
What is an MRI?
MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is an imaging technique that provides a clear picture of a patient's internal organs.
What is a gadolinium contrast agent?
In order to give the radiologist a clear scan of the internal organs, a contrast agent containing gadolinium may be injected into the blood vessels to differentiate them from the others. The agent tends to collect in the abnormal tissue of the body or head, and lights them up so they present a bright and clear image for the observer. The contrast agent thus works like a dye to give the radiologist a clear look at the organs and tissues he is interested in monitoring. Currently, five gadolinium-based contrast agents have received FDA approval – Bayer's Magnevist, OptiMark, Omniscan and Bracco Diagnostic Inc.'s ProHance and MultiHance.
Effects of Gadolinium MRI Contrast Agents
The use of gadolinium contrast agents for scanning purposes has been shown to contribute to the development of a rare disease called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFS/NFD). This disorder has been noticed in patients who have insufficient renal function or kidney failure and are exposed to gadolinium.
About Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) / Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFS/NFD)
NFS is an extremely rare fibrosing disorder that is associated with skin changes and scarring of organs in renal failure patients. The disease first surfaced in 1997; since then there have been numerous cases reported. Symptoms of NFS include changes in the appearance of the skin that are very similar to the changes brought about by scleroderma, however, NFS scarring spares the face. There is redness of the skin, burning or itching sensations, and swelling of the skin. The patients may find skin stretched tight and rigid, and have difficulty bending their knees and elbows. There may be muscular weakness and pain. Autopsies of NFS patients have revealed scarring of the internal organs including the kidney, lung, testes and other organs.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the risk of NFD through the use of gadolinium contrast agents in patients with kidney failure. There are contrast agents that do not contain gadolinium, but these may not be as effective as the gadolinium based ones. If you suffer from kidney disease or renal insufficiency and need to have an MRI, you should talk to your radiologist and weigh the benefits that of scanning with the risks associated with the gadolinium contrast agent.
Defective Medical Product Lawyer
With our experience in handling claims related to defective medical products, our legal team is ready to see how we can help you hold the manufacturer or other responsible party liable for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for medical care, lost earnings, future medical treatment and possibly much more. But it takes an experienced attorney to fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
Contact a product liability attorney at our firm today for help with a case involving an MRI contrast agent containing gadolinium.