Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1988 to 2004, gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) are solutions that, when injected prior to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, highlight abnormal cell or tissue growth. Currently, there are five FDA-approved GBCAs on the market, including:
- Magnevist by Bayer Healthcare
- MultiHance by Bracco
- Omniscan by GE Healthcare
- OptiMARK by Mallinckrodt
- ProHance by Bracco.
GBCA can cause some rare, yet serious side effects, including severe allergic reaction and a condition known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) or nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD). NSF and NFD are painful, incurable conditions that can be fatal.
Symptoms of NSF
First identified in 1997 and documented in medical journals in 2000, NSF is a serious condition in which fibrous connective tissue develops in the internal organs, joints, skin and eyes. Although the precise causes of NSF and NFD are unknown, these conditions have been linked to use of GBCA in patients with severe renal (kidney) impairment because gadolinium contrast agents are thought to be expelled through the kidneys.
GBCA patients who develop NSF or NFD will experience any combination of the following:
- burning or itchy skin
- general muscle weakness
- inability to bend or extend the joints
- inflammation of the skin
- loss of joint mobility
- pain in the hips or ribs
- skin plaques, skin tightening or skin hardening (typically on the extremities)
- yellowing of the whites of the eyes
Those who develop NSF or NFD after taking GBCA should seek immediate medical attention. Once their health is stable, they should meet with an experienced defective drug lawyer for a free initial consultation to learn more about their legal rights and entitlements. Injured GBCA patients may be entitled compensation for their injuries and losses. Skilled attorneys work on contingency (so that no legal fees will be charged until or unless a victim secures a settlement).
If you or a loved one have used Omniscan, Magnevist, MultiHance, OptiMARK, or ProHance and suffered from NSF, you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation and we can help.