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Gadolinium Side Effects and Lawsuits

Have you been injured after having an MRI or MRA with gadolinium based injections that were used as a contrast agent?

If this is so, it may be a wise idea to talk to a personal injury attorney and let him or her evaluate your case.

Gadolinium is a chemical element with symbol Gd and atomic number 64. Gadolinium is a silvery-white, malleable and ductile rare-earth metal. Malleable refers to gadolinium’s ability to deform under compressive stress. This is often characterized by a material’s ability to form a thin sheet by rolling or hammering. Ductile refers to gadolinium’s ability to deform under tensile stress. This is often characterized by a material’s ability to be stretched into a wire. Rare earth metals or rare earth elements are a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table. Despite their name, most rare earth metals are relatively plentiful in the crust of the earth.

To be more specific, gadolinium is a paramagnetic metal ion. Paramagnetic means that gadolinium is a magnetizable substance that has small but positive susceptibility which varies little with magnetizing force. This means that gadolinium moves differently inside of a magnetic field. This quality makes gadolinium useful for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Gadolinium-based contrast agents are referred to as GBCAs. There are five makers of GBCAs that are used as contrast agents for an MRI. They are Omniscan, ProHance, Magnevist, OptiMARK ad MultiHance.

An MRI is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of structures and organs inside of your body. An MRI is done to find problems like injury, blood vessel diseases, infection, bleeding or tumors.

An MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) is a special kind of MRI that is used to study blood vessels. An MRA is helpful in the detection of stroke, vascular diseases and heart disorders.

However, in 1997, the first cases of nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD) were identified in people with impaired kidney function who had undergone either an MRI or an MRA. Nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy is a serious, rare syndrome that is characterized by fibrosis (formation of excess fibrous connective tissue), or areas of hard and thick skin which severely restrict movement.

Later on, this condition was renamed nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). This was due to the fact that additional information determined that fibrosis could form on other internal organs throughout bodily systems.

Side Effects, Signs and Symptoms of a Gadolinium condition

There are signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of this serious and potentially fatal condition. These include:

  • Swelling, tightening, hardening, itching and burning of your skin
  • Pain in your ribs or hip bones
  • Dark or red patches on your skin
  • Yellow spots on the whites of your eyes
  • Stiff joints with problems in moving or straightening your limbs
  • Generalized muscle weakness

Because the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents failed to warn about the risk of developing nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, gadolinium settlements may be available.

Once again, if you have suffered an injury after having an MRI or MRA in which a GBCA was used, the wise thing to do is to talk to a personal injury attorney.