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MRI’s are intimidating. It can be scary to have to have an MRI in the first place because it means that your doctor suspects that something might be wrong and he or she needs to take a closer look inside of you. Secondly, that long tube is claustrophobic and the various clicks and knocks easily can test your sanity.
Now there is something else to consider before you get an MRI: the contrast agent gadolinium that is injected into the body so that the doctors can see the images clearly. This chemical has been in the news lately because of the dangerous adverse effects that many patients are reporting.
Gadolinium is a rare metal that alters the magnetic properties of water molecules that are nearby in the body to show clearer pictures. Usually this metal leaves the body quickly, but researchers have noticed that long-term gadolinium deposits have been found in brain tissue. In fact, researchers from Japan noted signal changes in areas of the brain following multiple doses of this substance and doctors from the Mayo Clinic confirmed these results. While both studies acknowledge that this metal can stay in the brain for an indefinite amount of time, both are uncertain of what this finding means for patients and what specific risks are involved.
Furthermore, a Danish study reported that gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) could cause nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) – a thickening and scarring of skin and connective tissue – in patients with acute or chronic kidney disease.
The study in Japan and at the Mayo Clinic occured in 2013 while the NSF study was conducted in 2006. However, most patients aren’t made aware of the potential risks that are associated with gadolinium. Many radiologists avoid using this process in patients with poor kidney function, in children or in patients with chronic diseases (such as multiple sclerosis), but the average patient is not warned of the risks.
There is little data on patients who are suffering from gadolinium because it has been misdiagnosed for so long. As this issue comes to light, more people are sharing that after having an MRI, they were struggling with horrible pain and a burning sensation throughout their body, violent shaking, numbness or tingling, weakness, kidney damage, difficulty breathing or brain fog.
If you have experienced any of these adverse effects after having an MRI that included using gadolinium, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You weren’t made aware of the possible harm to your health and therefore you weren’t able to make an educated decision. Contact us today to see if you may be able to make a claim.
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