The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans using gadolinium-based contrast agents may cause metal deposits in the brain that can lead to lasting health consequences. According to recent studies, the risk of these side effects may persist long after patients have undergone their last scan with gadolinium.
Gadolinium is a heavy metal that is used in MRI scans and other imagine procedures that makes certain tissues, abnormalities, or disease processes more clearly visible to doctors. Although gadolinium can be highly toxic, in most cases, the contrast agent is eliminated from the body by the kidneys, posing no long term health risks. Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) are marketed under brand names such as Omniscan, ProHance, Gadovist/Gadavist, OptiMARK, Magnevist, MultiHance, and Dotarem.
Researchers were already aware of the health risks of gadolinium for patients with impaired kidney function. Patients with kidney damage or other kidney problems who are treated with gadolinium-based contrast agents may develop nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), a serious condition in which gadolinium is not eliminated from the body, causing hardening of the skin or internal organs.
However, the new warning about gadolinium has raised concerns that the contrast agent may cause serious health problems even in patients without kidney problems.
Concerns about the long-term effects of gadolinium arose following the recent publication of a study in the journal Radiology about the safety of the contrast agent. Researchers in the study observed abnormalities in their cerebellum of patients who had undergone an MRI scan with gadolinium. The researchers concluded that these abnormalities were gadolinium deposits caused by the scans.
According to the FDA warning, patients who undergo four or more scans with gadolinium contrast agents may show signs of heavy metal deposits in their brains long after their last MRI scan. Researchers are currently investigating the long-term health consequences that could be caused by these deposits.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson and Personal Injury Litigation
If you have been injured following an MRI or other medical procedure, it is important that you have the help of an attorney with experience in personal injury law to ensure that you legal rights are protected.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson has the knowledge, experience and financial resources necessary to prosecute even the most complex medical negligence case. Our attorneys have successfully represented numerous victims of medical malpractice. We have not only the financial resources to take your case all the way to trial if necessary, but the legal experience and training to achieve the best possible result in your case.
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