Study Reveals Kidney Disease Patients Have 27% Higher Risk Of NSF

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania in Philidelphia reveals that patients with advanced kidney disease who are exposed to gadolinium based contrast agents (dyes used in MRIs and MRAs) have a 27% higher risk of developing nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.

Details of the study

According to a study published in the Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation Journal, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philidelphia and Doctor Rajender Agarwal reviewed data from seven previous studies on the links between advanced kidney disease patients who are exposed to gadolinium based contrast agents and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) – a serious condition which may consist of:

  • Burning of the skin
  • Hardening or tightening of the skin
  • Itching
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain deep in the hip bones or ribs
  • Red or dark patches on the skin
  • Stiffness in joints and trouble moving or straightening the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Swelling
  • Yellow spots on the whites of the eyes

The hardening process also causes contractures which can become so serious that individuals have a hard time moving, and in some cases, can’t ambulate at all.

They concluded that patients with advanced kidney disease were 27 times more likely to develop NSF if they were exposed to gadolinium products than those that were not exposed.

Gadolinium manufactures & FDA warnings

Several companies manufacture gadolinium including Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Bracco Diagnostics, GE Healthcare and Mallinckrodt and the products involved are OmniScan (gadodiamide), OptiMark (gadoversetamide), Prohance (gadoteridol), Magnevist (gadopentate dimeglumine) and MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine).

While the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning (the strongest warning given by the FDA) in 2007 on gadolinium products, these products continue to be used. Lawsuits over NSF and NFD (Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy) injuries continue to be filed alleging that manufacturers failed to 1) adequately test these products and 2) warn consumers of the possibility of contacting the disease once known.

Manufacturers rumored to be settling cases,/b>

According to news reports, gadolinium manufacturers may now be settling lawsuits. Bloomberg News and Reuters have each reported that Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals has begun settling gadolinium lawsuits – and it is likely that other manufacturers will follow Bayer’s lead.

If you believe that you may have been injured due to a gadolinium based contrast agent, it’s important to see your doctor right away as tests can be done to determine whether you’ve contracted NSF/NFD. Contacting an experienced products liability attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options.