MRI Contrast Agent Dye Side Effects

Deposits from the Gadolinium contrast dyes used to perform many MRIs may remain in the body for weeks, months or even years. A growing number of lawsuits allege that these deposits may lead to symptoms associated with gadolinium toxicity or Gadolinium Deposition Disease.

Did You or Someone You Love Experience Gadolinium Side Effects Following an MRI? Call Our Attorneys Today!

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to individual who may be suffering from gadolinium MRI side effects. To obtain your case review, please call (888) 994-5118.

FDA Gadolinium Retention Warning

Gadolinium contrast dyes are used to enhance images on MRI screens.

Gadolinium MRI agents currently approved for use in the United States include:

  • Dotarem
  • Eovist
  • Gadavist
  • Magnevist
  • Multihance
  • Ominiscan
  • Optimark
  • Prohance

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating these agents in 2015, after two studies suggested that gadolinium deposits could remain in the brain for weeks or months following an MRI procedure.

In December 2017, the agency  issued a class warning for gadolinium contrast dyes because of the risk of gadolinium retention.

While the FDA maintained that the only known gadolinium MRI side effect is a rare condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) that occurs in a small subgroup of patients with pre-existing kidney failure, it acknowledged receiving reports of adverse events involving multiple organ systems in patients with normal kidney function. It’s not yet clear, however, if these events are related to gadolinium retention.

To mitigate the potential for gadolinium MRI side effects, the FDA ordered the drug’s manufacturers to update their labels with information about gadolinium retention and to conduct studies to better assess this risk. Patients will also be informed about the possibility of gadolinium retention prior to an MRI.

Linear Gadolinium Agents Result in More, Longer Retention

The FDA’s safety communication indicated that certain gadolinium MRI contrast dyes – known as linear agents – result in more retention and retention for a longer time compared to gadolinium products called macrocyclic agents.

Linear gadolinium contrast agents include:

  • Eovist
  • Magnevist
  • MultiHance
  • Omniscan
  • Optimark

“Gadolinium levels remaining in the body are higher after administration of Omniscan (gadodiamide) or OptiMARK (gadoversetamide) than after Eovist (gadoxetate disodium), Magnevist (gadopentetate dimeglumine), or MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine),” the FDA stated. “Gadolinium levels in the body are lowest after administration of Dotarem (gadoterate meglumine), Gadavist (gadobutrol), and ProHance (gadoteridol); the gadolinium levels are also similar across these agents.”

Symptoms of Gadolinium Toxicity/Gadolinium Deposition Disease

Signs and symptoms of gadolinium toxicity or Gadolinium Deposition Disease include:

  • Intense burning of the skin and skin substrate: This may be localized in the torso or extremities (arms or legs) or it may affect the entire body.
  • Intense boring pain in bones or joints.
  • Mental confusion (i.e. “Brain Fog”).
  • Muscle vibrations, pins and needles sensation.
  • Headache
  • Thickening, discoloration, pain in the skin or skin substrate of the distal arms and legs.

Some sufferers of gadolinium toxicity have also reported other symptoms, including gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea and abdominal pain, and cardiac issues such as abnormal heart rhythms.

Some have also described a persistent metallic taste or olfactory sensation. While a metallic taste often follows the immediate administration of gadolinium agents, it generally clears after a minute or so.

Learn More About Filing a Gadolinium MRI Contrast Agent Lawsuit

If you or a loved one underwent a gadolinium-based MRI and think you could be experiencing gadolinium MRI side effects as described above, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for medical billing and other injury related damages.

To learn more about filing a gadolinium MRI contrast agent lawsuit, call (888) 994-5118.

  1. Inside Radiology (2013) “Gadolinium Contrast Medium (MRI Contrast agents)”
  2. Radiology Info (2013) “Contrast aterials”
  3. FDA (2010) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: New warnings for using gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with kidney dysfunction”
  4. FDA (July 2015) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA evaluating the risk of brain deposits with repeated use of gadolinium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)”
  5. FDA (December 2018) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns that gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) are retained in the body; requires new class warnings”
Last Modified: May 31, 2018

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