Gadolinium is a contrast agent found in dyes used for magnetic Gadoliniumresonance imaging (MRI). Any patient receiving gadolinium as part of a diagnostic MRI is at risk of experiencing mild side effects such as:

  • allergic reactions (which rarely include shortness of breath)
  • burning or slight pain at the injection site
  • headaches
  • hives
  • itchiness
  • lowered blood pressure
  • nausea

In most cases, intravenous fluids can help subdue these mild gadolinium side effects. Additionally, because gadolinium and MRIs can help doctors diagnose a range of serious health problems, their use typically outweighs any mild side effects a patient may experience.

Severe Gadolinium Side Effects: Nephrogenic Systemic Failure

However, not all gadolinium side effects are mild. Patients with renal (kidney) failure are at the highest risk of experiencing serious gadolinium side effects, the most severe of which is a skin condition known as Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD).

NSF/NFD is a rare condition in which the progressive buildup of scar tissue plagues the skin and/or connective tissues (muscles, nerves, etc.), limiting a person’s mobility. Although initial stages of NSF/NFD impair a patient’s ability to extend or contract the joints, the condition can eventually affect internal organs and result in fatality.

Unfortunately, NSF/NFD is incurable, and no single treatment course has proven consistently effective. Some combination of medications and various therapies are generally used in NSF/NFD treatment.

Gadolinium Side Effect Lawsuits

Individuals do not go into an MRI procedure expecting that it will result in the development of some rare and debilitating condition. Patients have a right to know the risks associated with medical procedures they undergo and drugs they are given. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for many individuals who were injected with a gadolinium based dye prior to an MRI.

If you or someone you love developed a serious gadolinium side effect like NSF/NFD after undergoing an MRI, you may wish to consult with an attorney about your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for the losses you or your loved one has suffered.

Contact us today to learn more.

Published November 17, 2011 by