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September, 2010 | New Jersey Medical Malpractice Blog Archive

Doctors Warned by FDA about Fatal Side Effect of MRI Contrast Medications

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on September 13, 2010

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are widely used by doctors throughout the United States to provide detailed body imaging to help identify and diagnose medical conditions. In providing greater contrast between the soft tissues of the body than computed tomography (CT) scans, MRIs have proven to be significantly useful. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently warned doctors that some contrast agents injected into patients who have kidney disease prior to their MRI scan may lead to a rare and occasionally fatal disorder.

According to an MSNBC report, the FDA is adding the strongest warning label to imaging agents containing gadolinium, stating that they should not be used in patients with weakened kidney function. “Nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy” has been reported in patients with kidney problems who were given the gadolinium agent. This condition, although rare, can be fatal in some cases as it causes a patient’s skin to harden, as well additional tissue growth on joints, eyes, and internal organs. Although a kidney transplant may slow the disease and even reverse it in some instances, there is no known treatment for nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy. Read the rest »

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