Friday, July 18, 2008

Best Post of March, 2008: A new disease which lawyers love

The next in my occasional "Best of the Month" series goes back to March '08 with this post:

Neuropathologists are always reviewing brain MRIs that use gadolinium contrast. I never thought much about the potential toxic effect of gadolinium. However, the illustrious Dr. Brajesh Argawal, resident in the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine neurology program, informed me yesterday of the risk of the use of gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents in patients with chronic renal failure. There is an emerging disorder, known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), that can arise in these patients. NSF involves the deposition of collagen in the skin and other organs in patients either on dialysis or with a glomerular filtration rate of less than 15 cc/min. According to an article on the topic by Philip Kuo et al. in the journal Radiology (2007;242:647-649), “NSF may develop rapidly and can sometimes result in patients becoming confined to a wheelchair within a few weeks… While NSF sometimes stabilizes, it rarely spontaneously remits.” Malpractice lawyers are, of course, all over NSF. For instance:

Radiologists now make it a practice to have patients sign a consent form which mentions the possibility of the development of NSF in those with renal insufficiency. Here’s a link to the FDA alert concerning gadolinium:

Thanks for the information, Dr. Argawal!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As many people know, those who undergo MRI procedures often take gadolinium, a rare-earth metal that enhances MRI images. Since 1997, a growing number of patients with kidney disorders who have taken gadolinium have reported a serious, sometimes fatal condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) or nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD). People suffering from NSF/NFD experience a gradual tightening of the skin and connective tissue. NSF/NFD can lead to extreme pain, paralysis, and even death.

You can obtain a free legal consultation and or learn more about gadolinium and NSF at The damaging and potentially fatal side effects of gadolinium mean that you deserve an in-depth legal review.

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