Modern medicine has led to some amazing breakthroughs over the years, and today our doctors can run scans and tests for nearly any condition. And while this helps to detect and treat numerous medical problems, these tests do bring with them their own set of risks and dangers. In some cases the risks may be greater than the rewards. MRI scans sometimes utilize an element known as gadolinium to help enhance the visibility of scans. But there have been reports of gadolinium based MRI contrast agents leading to very serious problems. If you've been injured as a result of this compound, you could be entitled to financial restitution.
While when they are used according to directions, these MRI contrast agents are relatively safe. But an issue lies in the fact that the gadolinium based MRI contrast agents could be used by doctors performing MRA scans instead of just MRI scans. An MRA scan will require much higher doses of the contrasting agent than an MRI – often up to three times as much. The FDA has only approved the agents for use in MRIs, but some doctors still use the gadolinium contrast agents for MRA scans. This exposes patients to much higher doses of gadolinium than the FDA allows.
Those who have been exposed to these higher levels of gadolinium could suffer very serious health problems including:
Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a type of condition that causes the skin to tighten and contract. It can cause a number of issues and symptoms including:
In some cases the NSF is so severe that it can cripple patients, and in many instances patients have been confined to a wheelchair within weeks of the condition's onset. Symptoms can present themselves anywhere from 2 days to 18 months after the exposure to the gadolinium based MRI contrast agents, and the severity will vary from case to case.
Kidney failure has also been linked to the use of these contrasting agents, and patients who have suffered problems have found themselves in need of regular dialysis, expensive medication, and more.
Both of these side effects triggered a black box warning from the FDA, and today the warning is required on all packages of the contrast agents. Still, the problem exists and those who have suffered any health problems after being exposed to these agents should consider contacting an attorney to find out more about their legal rights.
MRI and MRA scans rely on magnetic imaging to deliver images of tissue, organs, bones, and more. Doctors use these scans to diagnose injuries and illnesses. However, in some cases a gadolinium based MRI contrast agent may be swallowed by the patient or injected intravenously. Certain tissues within the body absorb the compound and help the tissues appear more clearly on the MRI scans. Basically it helps radiologists see different organs or tissues better so that they can make much more accurate diagnoses. But in some cases the agents may cause health issues to occur.