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The Dangers Associated with a Gadolinium MRI

Sep 15, 2008
When it comes to obtaining an MRI, it is important for medical professionals to get the clearest image possible. By obtaining a clear and crisp picture, the medical professional is better capable of making a diagnosis and treating his or her patients. In order to create clearer images, researchers are continually looking for new techniques and technology that can aid with MRI imaging. As a result, the gadolinium MRI technique was developed. While this resulted in clearer images, it also resulted in some very serious side effects for some patients.

What is a Gadolinium MRI?

A gadolinium MRI is an MRI scan that involves using the chemical gadolinium as a contrast agent. A contrast agent helps to increase the contrast in the colors shown with an MRI, which makes it easier for the medical professional to identify potentially problematic areas. Gadolinium is able to create a better contrast by causing the water around it to relax quickly, which results in a higher quality scan.

Why is a Gadolinium MRI Potentially Dangerous?

Gadolinium is not necessarily dangerous for all patients, but certain patients are at a greater risk of negative side effects than others. For example, patients with kidney disease are at a particularly high risk of complications when gadolinium is used for an MRI scan. This is because the chemical is meant to pass through the body, but patients with kidney disease are not able to remove the chemical quickly. As a result, it becomes unbound and can lead to serious health issues.

What Health Issues Can Result from a Gadolinium MRI?

For those with kidney disease, a gadolinium MRI can result in Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, which is a rare condition that involves the internal organs, eyes, joints and skin. Patients with the disease develop hardened skin containing fibrotic plaques and nodules in the affected areas. This ultimately results in a limited range of motion and can lead to renal failure and other serious complications. Many people suffering from Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis also develop other complications, such as hepatitis C, after taking immunosuppressive medications.

What Contrasting Agents are Used in a Gadolinium MRI?

There are actually several different contrasting agents that utilize gadolinium, four of which have been linked to cases of Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. These include:

- Magnevist
- Multihance
- Omniscan
- OptiMARK

Despite the lawsuits that have been filed and the potential dangers associated with having a gadolinium MRI, the chemical is still used by medical professionals when getting an MRI scan. Therefore, if you are scheduled to get an MRI, be certain to discuss the procedure with your doctor and make certain gadolinium is not going to be used with your scan.
About the Author
Baxter Owens is the developer of www.gadoliniumclaim.com, an informational site regarding Gadolinium claims, which typically involve Gadolinium Toxicity . Visit his site to learn about Gadolinium MRI .
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