The actor Chuck Norris and his wife, Gena, are among a growing number of plaintiffs who have filed MRI contrast dye lawsuits seeking compensation for “Gadolinium Deposition Disease,” a disorder allegedly caused by the retention of toxic gadolinium following an MRI.
Gadolinium is heavy metal that does not occur naturally in the human body. However, because of its magnetic properties, gadolinium is used in several contrast agents to help improve the visibility of MRI scans.
According to a complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court last November, Gena Norris underwent three MRI scans over an eight-day period in late 2012 for routine monitoring for rheumatoid arthritis. Within days, she began experiencing “intense burning” pain in her body and heart pounding. Though she and her husband made several trips to the ER, her symptoms became progressively worse.
The Norris’s lawsuit blames Gena’s debilitating symptoms on toxic gadolinium deposits that allegedly remained in her body after the MRIs.
“I am broken,” Gena told the San Francisco Business Times shortly after the Norris’s filed their lawsuit. “I don’t blame the doctors at all, because (companies) have been keeping things hidden and in the shadows.”
There are currently 8 gadolinium-based MRI contrast dyes approved for sale in the United States:
Until recently, the only known side effect associated with gadolinium-based MRI contrast dyes was a condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, or NSF, which only occurs in people with pre-existing kidney failure.
In December 2017, however, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that gadolinium deposits could be retained by days, weeks, or even years after an MRI. While the agency has received reports of adverse events following an MRI among patients with normal kidney function, it has not yet been able to establish a causal link between such complications and the use of gadolinium-based MRI contrast dyes.
The FDA directed the manufacturers of these agents to add information about the potential for gadolinium retention to their labels. The drug makers were also ordered to conduct studies to help the agency better assess the safety of these products.
According to MRI contrast dye lawsuits, Gadolinium Deposition Disease can occur within hours or weeks of the administration of a gadolinium agent.
Symptoms of the condition include:
Gadolinium Deposition Disease is progressive and becomes worse over time. Gadolinium MRI agents are the only known cause and there is no known cure.