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Can Contrast Dye Cause MRI Side Effects?

Painful NSF Is Possible Side Effect Of Gadolinium And May Require Hemodialysis

Magnetic resonance imaging is a common procedure in hospitals around the world. The process includes a large machine that bathes the body in a magnetic field that alters the nuclear magnetism of water molecules in the body. This, in turn, causes the atomic nuclei to emit their own magnetic field, which are detected and turned into an image for doctors and technicians. Unfortunately, some areas of the body are not as visible as others. Subsequently, doctors sometimes use contrast agents, injecting patients with metals or other elements that are more visible on the image. However, some of these agents may contribute to extremely painful MRI side effects.

In 1997, a medical team in California discovered that gadolinium based contrast agents can cause severely debilitating ailments in some patients. For the most part, these patients are already experiencing some health problems. In fact, it may be chronic kidney (renal) failure that has landed them in the hospital in the first place. Without properly functioning kidneys to filter toxins and other foreign bodies out of the human blood, elements build up in the body, causing a host of potentially deadly maladies such as Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF).

Some typical complications resulting from the use of faulty dyes are included in the following list:

  • Hardened skin

  • Dark patches

  • Unexplained lesions (cuts)

  • Fibrous nodes and plaques

  • Fibrosis of the diaphragm

  • Fibrosis of lungs

  • Fibrosis of thigh muscles or abdomen

Because the issue is often visible on the skin of the victim, it is sometimes referred to as fibrosing dermopathy.

When people begin to experience problems related to gadolinium in an MRI, they are typically subjected to uncontrolled growth of fibrous tissues in different organs of the body. This growth is normal during the natural repair of the body, but in NSF victims, the control mechanism that stops the process breaks down.

Because of the increasing prevalence of these health issues, the FDA has issued a series of warning about NSF and the dyes used to improve images created through magnetic resonance imaging. The hardened skin and muscles can lead to injury or even death as victims struggle to walk. Excess tissue buildup can eventually lead to suffocation.

Here is a brief list of some commonly used drugs that contain the harmful metal.

  • MultiHance (Bracco)

  • ProHance (Bracco)

  • Magnevist (Bayer Healthcare)

  • OptiMARK (Mallinckrodt)

  • Omniscan (GE Healthcare)

If you have any kidney problems and were recently subjected to a gadolinium MRI  or other radiology procedure requiring the use of a contrasting dye, are experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above, or have any other reason to believe that you may have contracted NSF, contact your doctor, physician, or other health care professional immediately. An early diagnosis is vital in mitigating the often debilitating problems associated with the ailment. Additionally, you may be due recompense from an existing or pending gadolinium lawsuit. If you are diagnosed by your doctor, contact an attorney immediately to see if you qualify.


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