The Nature of the Drug: Gadolinium is a chemical element that is used as a contrast agent in magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic-resonance angiography (MRA) scans. The patient is injected with a gadolinium-based dye before scanning, causing abnormalities in internal organs, blood vessels, and soft tissue to be visible in the scan. Five gadolinium-based contrast agents are approved in the United States.

The Hazards of Gadolinium: Gadolinium-based contrast agents can be hazardous to patients who have multiple scans, because deposits of contrast agent can accumulate in their brains. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, which is fibrosis of the skin, joints, eyes, or internal organs. can develop. In severe cases patients cannot walk or fully extend their arms, feet, and legs, and they may experience muscle weakness. The condition has a 48% death rate.

Gadolinium buildup probably occurs because for gadolinium-based contrast agents to work, they must be used at higher doses than the FDA has approved. Excessive dosing is particularly dangerous to patients with kidney or liver disease, because they cannot eliminate high amounts of contrast agent from their bodies. Thus, out of 186 kidney patients who had MRIs or MRAs, twenty-five developed symptoms of Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.
Patients undergoing gadolinium injections also report burning, itching, swelling, muscle weakness, joint stiffness, pain deep in their ribs or hips, and nerve damage.

To Obtain Legal Relief: People who have been exposed to gadolinium injections in MRI or MRA procedures, and who have developed joint pain or stiffness, muscle weakness, or nerve damage, may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.