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Gadolinium is a contrast dye used to enhance MRI films. The chemical medium is the most commonly used contrast material and helps to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs during a MRI. However, there is new evidence that Gadolinium does not leave the body as quickly as the drug manufacturers represented. Instead, it is retained in the body, including in the joints and the brain, putting the patient at risk for exposure to excess Gadolinium. In late 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new Drug Safety warning to inform doctors and patients that Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) are in fact retained in the body.

Injuries caused by Gadolinium

Symptoms related to the retention of Gadolinium, long after the MRI is completed, are classified as called Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD). GDD occurs in individuals with normal or near-normal renal function “who develop persistent symptoms that arise within a few hours to two months after the administration of Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs).” In order to diagnose individuals with the disease, a urine test must be administered that confirms the presence of Gadolinium in the body. This test should be administered 30 or more days after the most recent MRI.

Symptoms of Gadolinium Deposition Disease or Gadolinium toxicity include:
  • Bone and joint pain;
  • Cognitive difficulties including a sensation of “brain fog;”
  • Thickening of the skin and subcutaneous soft tissue, including skin that appears spongy or rubbery;
  • Tendons and ligaments are painful and have thickened appearance;
  • Tightness in hands and feet;
  • Pain described as burning, cutting, or pins and needles in the arms, legs or torso; and
  • Some people describe a “crawling” sensation just below the skin

New Gadolinium Warnings

In May 2018, the Gadolinium manufacturers alerted health care providers that there are new concerns about the potential for Gadolinium retention, especially in the bones and organs. Patients at the highest risk of Gadolinium retention include those having multiple MRIs or Gadolinium exposures, pregnant patients, children and patients with inflammatory conditions. The new warnings state that “Consequences of Gadolinium retention in the brain have not been established” and that patients with normal renal function have shown pathological changes in their skin. Doctors are now warned that Gadolinium can be retained in the brain, bones or organs of patients with normal renal function for months or years.

Gadolinium Litigation

Famed actor and martial artist, Chuck Norris and his wife Gena, filed one of the first lawsuits on Gadolimium Deposition Disease in November of 2017. Gena Norris alleges that she developed “multiple, debilitating bouts of pain and burning throughout her body” after exposure to Gadolinium.

Many people believe that, when a lot of individuals are injured by a single product or medicine, the victims should find a single law firm to file a class action lawsuit. But, since the injuries are never exactly the same for each person, a class action is typically not appropriate. Instead, we file an individual lawsuit for every injured client. That individual lawsuit will become part of a mass tort, not a class action. A mass tort is similar to a class action in that it involves hundreds of thousands of people with similar (but not identical) injuries. However, each client’s case is investigated and prosecuted individually on its own merits and successful plaintiffs are awarded varying monetary amounts depending on the severity of their injuries.

Littlepage Booth is currently representing people across the country who are suffering from injuries caused by Gadolinium exposure. Call us at 1-713-529-8000.