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Promising Gadolinium Alternative Could Offer Needed Results for Kidney Patients

Sep 16, 2008
A recent study that was published in the journal Radiology may offer insight for patients who are suffering from the debilitating and rare condition known as Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF).

A study, conducted by the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, found that kidney patients who are at risk for developing NSF when receiving gadolinium contrast dyes from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) procedures may have less of a chance of developing the condition after receiving hemodialysis.

When hemodialysis was administered to patients immediately following gadolinium exposure, their NSF symptoms were delayed for more than two days. According to the study, patients who received gadolinium contrast dyes during MRIs were "10 times more likely to develop NSF than patient who had not been exposed to such agents."

Developing NSF

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis is considered a rare multisystemic fibrosing disorder that affects the skin in infected patients, but can also affect organs in patients with renal insufficiencies, according to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenoloy.

NSF is commonly associated with patients suffering from chronic kidney disease and acute renal failure who have or are receiving gadolinium-based contrast agents/dyes during an MRI or MRA, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

The first case of NSF was documented in 1997, and is considered a rare and rather newly developed condition. Up until 2006, NSF was relatively unknown, but during 2006 more individuals began to complain of NSF symptoms after receiving contrast dyes, according to the International Center for Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy Research (ICNFDR). NSF side effects can be seriously disabling to patients who have been diagnosed with the condition. Some of the side effects include:

* skin thickening

* painful/itchy skin

* joint stiffening

* muscle weakness

* reddened or darkened patches of skin

* burning or severe pain in skin

* deep bone pain

* calcifications of soft tissue

* orange or woody texture on surface of skin

* skin lesions

* yellow papules or plaques on or near eyes

* fluctuating hypertension

Available NSF Treatments

While there are currently no known consistently successful NSF treatment, there are several treatments that can be considered to help ease the severely disabling syptoms of NSF. Some of these treatments include:

* Oral steroids such as prednisone, however, these medications have been associated with developing gastrointestinal ulceration and early onset osteoporosis.

* Topical Dovonex, which is prescribed as a combination of occluded dovonex and clobetasol to put on the outside of infected skin and can be sued with vascular compression stockings, according to the ICNFDR.

* Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP), which is a treatment under investigation that softens the plaques after long-term therapy.

* Plasmapheresis, patients receiving liver/kidney transplants.

* Receiving Cytoxan medications.

* Treatments of Thalidomide.

* Ultraviolet therapy.

* Physical therapy of patients, which also includes deep massage.

* Pentoxifylline (PXF), an oral medication that may improve red blood cell circulation and flexibility.

* Intravenous therapy in which high doses of medication are given.

* Renal transplantation.

Suffering From NSF and How Can You Get Help?

Because NSF is such a debilitating condition and considered so rare, it is important for an individual to receive legal assistance immediately.

Contacting an experienced NSF attorney will help in developing a medical lawsuit that can potentially result in receiving monetary funds as compensation for damages incurred within an individual suffering from NSF.

The treatments with NSF have not resulted in consistent and positive outcomes for NSF patients and undergoing continual treatments may be extremely costly, not only monetarily, but physically on an individual as well. For more information, contact a Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis law firm and begin taking steps in the right direction to change the fate of this serious condition.
About the Author
Learn more about NSF visit http://nsf-nephrogenic-systemic-fibrosis.legalview.com/ . Visit the LegalView homepage, http://www.LegalView.com/, which contains information on topics such as the Levaquin risks or the Digitek Digoxin recall.
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