Gadolinium MRA Contrast Dye Side Effects Frequently Asked Guestions

If you or a loved one suffer from NSF (Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis), also known as NFD (Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy), caused by a Gadolinium MRA contrast dye, you likely have many questions. This list of Gadolinium side effects “Frequently Asked Questions” can answer some of the questions you have. For a more thorough evaluation of a possible NSF or NFD lawsuit against the makers of Gadolinium MRA contrast dyes, please contact one of the qualified Gadolinium side effect lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP for a free evaluation of your Gadolinium case.

What is Gadolinium?

Gadolinium is a paramagnetic metal ion. Paramagnetic ions, such as gadolinium, move differently within a magnetic field. This trait makes gadolinium useful for magnetic resonance imaging (MRA). The magnetic properties of gadolinium provide contrasts that allow healthcare professionals to more easily differentiate between healthy and abnormal tissue on MRA films. Gadolinium based contrast dyes were approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in MRIs in 1988.

How many Gadolinium based contrast dyes are on the market?

There are five and they are:

  • Omniscan™ by GE Healthcare
  • OptiMARK by Mallinckrodt/Tyco Healthcare
  • Magnevist by Bayer/Schering AG/Berlex
  • ProHance by Bracco Diagnostics,
  • MultiHance by Bracco Diagnostics

How is Gadolinium administered?

When these dyes are used, a baseline MRA of the patient is taken. Then gadolinium contrast dye is injected into the patient’s blood stream and a second MRA is done. In patients with normally-functioning kidneys, the substance is expelled from the body quickly, creating no damage or risks.

Do Gadolinium based MRA contrast dyes cause any side effects?

In 2006, a study conducted by Dr. T Grobner of the Danish Medicines Agency found an association between the use of gadolinium based contrast dyes and the development of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NSD) in patients with kidney problems. Other studies have backed up these findings, with one concluding that kidney patients who received gadolinium based contrast dyes had a 4% percent chance of developing NSF/NSD.

What is NSF/NSD?

NSF/NSD is a rare disease that only appeared in 1997. It has only been reported in patients with kidney disease. The disease can appear within a few days or as long as 18 months after a patient has undergone an MRA that involved the use of a gadolinium based contrast agent. NSF/NSD is a progressive disease that starts with high blood pressure. It leads to hardening and thickening of the skin that can prevent a patient from moving his or her joints. This fibrosis can also develop in the diaphragm, muscles in the thighs and lower abdomen and lungs. Over time, NSF/NSD will become worse, possibly leading to death.

Is there treatment for NSF/NSD?

As of now, there is no treatment for NSF/NSD. However, improving kidney function, either spontaneously or through a transplant, has been shown to slow or stop the progression of the disease.

Have all of the Gadolinium based MRA contrast dyes currently on the market been linked to NSF/NSD?

Yes, NSF/NSD has been associated with all five gadolinium based contrast dyes currently on the market.

What action has the FDA taken in regards to gadolinium based MRA contrast dyes and NSF/NSD?

In May 2007, the FDA requested that the five manufactures of gadolinium based contrast dyes include boxed warnings about the NSF/NSD risk on their products labels. The FDA also warned healthcare professionals that they should avoid using gadolinium based contrast dyes in any patients with kidney problems, and the agency advised that all patients should be screened for kidney disease before the administration of gadolinium. The FDA also started a monitoring program, and requested that healthcare providers report any instances of NSF/NSD linked to the use of gadolinium based contrast dyes to the agency.

How do I file a lawsuit against the makers of Gadolinium based MRA contrast dyes?

Contact Parker Waichman LLP by filling out our Free online lawsuit evaluation form or by calling us at 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).