Gadolinium Side Effects

Gadolinium is a heavy metal toxin used in compact discs, computer memory, nuclear marine propulsion systems and dyes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). In May 2007, the Food and Drug Administration warned of the risk of gadolinium side effects—particularly the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, or NSF, in kidney patients.

Gadolinium-based MRI Dyes

Patients sometimes receive an injection of a gadolinium-based dye prior to an MRI to enhance images of the body’s internal structures. In patients with normal kidney function, the dye is rapidly flushed through the kidneys. However, patients with kidney failure or kidney insufficiencies have difficulty flushing the gadolinium through their system, and consequently face a greater risk of developing nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

NSF is a rare systemic disease that affects the skin and muscles as well as the internal organs in some cases. The disease is initially characterized by a thickening and tightening of the skin that may eventually involve the muscles, diaphragm, lungs, and other internal structures. Symptoms of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis include:

  • “Woody" feeling skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint inflexibility
  • Reddened or darkened skin patches
  • Pain in the rib and/or hip bones

According to the FDA, deaths due to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis complications have been reported. The agency also noted that the disease may take days to many months to become apparent after a person is exposed to a gadolinium-based contrast agent.  

Other Gadolinium Side Effects

Gadolinium has been linked to a number of other side effects, including:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Blood clots
  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Faintness
  • Nausea
  • Irritation of blood vessels

Individuals who have been exposed to a gadolinium-based contrast agent and experience any signs or symptoms of a gadolinium-related injury or side effect should consult with a physician as soon as possible.

Have You Suffered a Gadolinium Side Effect?

If you’ve been diagnosed with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and a gadolinium-based contrast agent is to blame, you may be entitled to compensation. Let a gadolinium attorney evaluate your case free of charge. We are happy to discuss your legal options with you.

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Gadolinium Contrast Agents Required to Include New Warning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a news release Sept. 9, 2010, requiring that contrast agents containing gadolinium carry a new warning on their labels because it can lead to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). Read More »

First Gadolinium Lawsuit Filed in U.S. Court

An Ohio woman has filed what is believed to be the first gadolinium lawsuit, claiming that the MRI dye Magnevist-made by Bayer-caused her 24-year-old son's death.
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Gadolinium-Based MRI Dyes Get Black Box Warning

The Food and Drug Administration has asked that a black box warning be added to all gadolinium-based MRI dyes to highlight the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, or NSF.
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