Gadolinium is a naturally-occurring element that is commonly used as a contrast agent in MRIs, but recent studies have suggested that exposure to it may be causing more harm than initially thought. The toxicity of the element can lead to a number of conditions, including gadolinium deposition disease and, in rare cases, a severe illness called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.
If you’ve suffered any associated diseases or harm due to gadolinium exposure, contact the lawyers of Meinhart, Manning & Smith, PLLC to explore your options for proper compensation.
A rare earth metal, gadolinium has a number of specialized applications, but it is most commonly used in MRIs. The element is known as a contrast agent, an additive given intravenously to patients before an MRI. Once injected, the gadolinium accumulates in abnormal tissues, amplifying the contrast between normal and abnormal tissues. This effectively makes it easier to find growths such as tumors in a patient’s body.
Although gadolinium in its ionized form is incredibly toxic, the form used in contrast agents was said to be fairly inert, and easily passed through the body shortly after injection. However, recent studies have suggested that the metal doesn’t pass through the body as quickly as initially thought.
A 2014 study found that the element may be deposited and retained in the brain, and a 2016 study found that the metal may not only deposit itself into the brain and other organs, but also be incredibly difficult to remove from the body.
Retaining any sort of heavy metals can put a toll on your health, and gadolinium is no exception. The contrast agent is especially dangerous for patients with pre-existing kidney issues leading to degrees of renal impairment or failure. In these patients, there’s a risk of a rare condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). This may occur months after gadolinium exposure and can be extremely painful. Its symptoms include:
This is a relatively new, rare disease – it was first discovered in 1997, and to date, there have only been a few hundred documented cases.
Recently, those with healthy kidneys have been experiencing ailments days or months after gadolinium exposure in MRI contrast agents. This has come to been known as gadolinium deposition disease (GDD) and is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms, including:
Although there has yet to be definitive scientific evidence proving the existence of GDD, there remain numerous reports of patients suffering in pain from this condition.
In cases where gadolinium exposure shows a clear link to GDD or NSF, the contrast agent manufacturer may be held liable for not properly warning patients about the potential dangers of the product. Although the FDA voted in 2017 to require warning labels on gadolinium-containing contrast agents, those who were exposed to the product before that time may have a product liability case against the numerous manufacturers.
A product liability case alleges that the companies have a duty of care to uphold to its customers. In this case, that duty of care includes properly warning customers about the potential risks of using their product. By not doing their due diligence regarding warnings, they may have failed to uphold their duty of care and may be held liable for any resultant damages.
If you have been exposed to gadolinium MRI contrast agents and developed GDD or NSF, contact the attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC immediately.
The Louisville product liability attorneys of Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC help people who have suffered at the hands of negligent corporations. With a combination of knowledge, skill, and experience, we work diligently to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Gadolinium can be an incredibly toxic element causing severe diseases such as NSF and GDD. The companies responsible for manufacturing contrast agents should be held liable for their failure to properly warn patients of the risk associated with their use in MRIs.Louisville Gadolinium MRI Attorneys
We have the compassion, skills, and confidence to go up against these large corporations and succeed in recovering damages for you and your loved ones. Contact us today for a free consultation and explore your options for financial recovery.