"A few months after the second MRI, I noticed little red circles with bumps on my legs and arms that left dark, hard spots. Now my skin looks like leather. I didn't pay much attention to it at first because I do a lot of gardening so I thought it was some reaction to a plant, but it got worse so I went to a dermatologist.
She informed me that it was just dry skin and prescribed an ointment and some lotion. I was using it but my condition got worse: My skin was splitting on my legs and all my joints started aching. I thought it was just age-related—I am 71. But I happened to be watching TV one night and saw an ad regarding MRI and these side effects—the same symptoms I was having.
Then I went online and looked up MRIs and read about more side effects that possibly explained why I was getting headaches and stiff joints in the morning. And my sight changed. Last year my eyes were fine but all of a sudden I need new glasses. I used to be able to see the veins in my arms—I can't see any now.
I went back to the dermatologist at the beginning of July and on my attorney's advice (at no charge), she took a biopsy from my leg. I am going to call him back as soon as I get the biopsy results—should be on July 20th."
Of course James is very concerned about MRI heath risks and the possibility of developing NSF/NFD from gadolinium in the contrast agent. " I read an article where a woman had this leathery skin all over her body—she actually got entombed in her own skin and died from NSF," says James. " So far it has covered my arms, hands, legs and feet and nothing works to stop it from spreading--it isn't just dry skin."
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However, in an email to LawyersandSettlements on July 15, 2009, Dr. Shawn E. Cowper, Clinical Pathology & Anatomic Pathology, Dermatology, Dermatopathology, New Haven, CT., said patients with stages 4 and 5 CKD are are at risk.
The Journal also said that, although gadolinium has been widely used for several years, there is recent evidence that this agent plays a central role in the development of acute renal failure (ARF), nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD) and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF).