When news first broke about the possible link between Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) and gadolinium-based contrast agents used in MRIs, it was certainly alarming. But not much was known about it aside from the alleged correlation.
So after the first cases of NSF were identified, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with doctors from the University of California in San Francisco to investigate the disorder. The work has since moved to Yale University where Dr. Shawn Cowper is in charge of confirming and investigating new cases of NSF.
The NSF Registry—the official project name for the work Dr. Cowper is heading up—aims to collect and organize information about NSF patients globally. The information is collected in order to help identify factors that may be related to or causative of NSF. Additionally, the NSF Registry will collect information on NSF treatments—successes and failures—in order to determine effective therapies and to help design future medication/therapy trials.
Anyone who has been afflicted with NSF or NFD should have their doctor contact Dr. Cowper at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the NSF Registry website: icnfdr.org.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has confirmed via Canwest News Service that it will cut MRI scans by 20%. That’s a staggering figure-think of it, one in five individuals who previously would have been sent for an MRI, won’t be. To anyone south of the Canadian border, it seems unconscionable. Of course, to anyone south of the border who has an HMO, well, they’re used to being told “no can do” or you need to pay through the roof-so not sure which scenario’s better.
But, regardless of any healthcare debates, you have to wonder whether the reduction in MRI scans will have any measurable impact on the amount of patients who innocently go for their MRI, only to be injected with a gadolinium contrast agent, only to learn later that they’ve got some serious kidney problems.
Gadolinium contrast has been linked to Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD)-MRI health risks that are real and very serious. Read the rest of this entry »
The American Cancer Society’s CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians just published (8/13/09) the findings from a study done on the use of MRI with early stage breast cancer patients.
Given: MRI health risks have been in the news given contrast agent gadolinium’s association with the potential for NSF (Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis).
Given: It’s been in vogue (if breast cancer can ever be) to have an MRI as part of the diagnostic process for breast cancer.
If you or someone you know has advanced kidney disease chances are you have undergone an MRI—very likely more than one. As you probably know, in order for physicians to see things on an MRI the person undergoing the imaging procedure may need to be administered what is called a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA). Problem is, the gadolinium-based agents that are used are linked to serious kidney disease—something called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD).
The health problems resulting from GBCAs were not widely known until around 2006-2007—and even then the average person undergoing an MRI at the time would likely never have heard of NSF/NFD. But the medical community is more aware of the problems, and the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged that there were 200 reports worldwide of NSF/NFD due to patients exposed to various GBCAs in 2006.
Recently, a group of investigators based at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia reviewed a series of controlled clinical trials that examined the association between GBCAs and NSF. The study was published in the May 2009 Issue of Renal and Urology News.
The results strongly indicate a ‘causal relationship’ between GBCAs and NSF. In fact, the researchers wrote in their paper: Read the rest of this entry »
Absolutely nothing, according to many people with some degree of renal failure who were injected with a contrast agent containing gadolinium during an MRI or MRA. These people got an MRI exam thinking that the results would help their condition. Instead, MRI health risks potentially outweigh the benefits if they were exposed to a gadolinium-based contrast dye.
Gadolinium is highly toxic. It is found in microwave ovens, color television tubes, computer memory and compact discs. Gadolinium is also used in nuclear marine propulsion as a burnable poison. Imagine putting that into your body: I thought Botox was bad enough!
And MRI health risks associated with gadolinium aren’t that rare. So far, more than 350 Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy lawsuits have been filed in the US, alleging that the manufacturers of the contrast agents (five of them) knew how potentially harmful the substances were long before letting the public know. Meanwhile, patients are still being exposed to the risk of NSF/NFD (Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, also known as Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy).