Testing for Gadolinium Toxicity

People have been getting severely sick after undergoing MRI or MRA scans with contrast dye agents. However, many don’t know what the next steps should be after suspecting gadolinium toxicity. Medical providers think these contrast dyes are harmless, so many have to seek help for themselves.

About Gadolinium

Gadolinium is a chemical element carrying the atomic number 64 and the atomic symbol Gd. Belonging to a group of elements in the periodic table called Lanthanides, the chemical is a rare earth element typically used in microwave applications, color TV tubes, synthetic gemstones, compact discs, and computer memory. This chemical element is widely used as an injectable contrast agent when patients undergo magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scans.

Before undergoing an MRI or MRA, a gadolinium contrast agent is injected into the bloodstream and is stored in the blood vessels and abnormal tissue. This is so doctors can easily detect and trace any problems found within the body. Previously, researchers said this chemical element was safe for use in MRIs and MRAs. In fact, the element is very toxic.

The kidneys are supposed to expel the chemical after receiving the injection. However, regardless of kidney health patients can develop complications from the element spreading in the body.

Types of Gadolinium Toxicity Testing

There are three main avenues for those suspecting gadolinium toxicity testing to confirm their body is retaining the deadly MRI contrast dye. These are urine, blood, and dermal tests.

Urine Testing

Urine testing is the first step to a gadolinium toxicity diagnosis. It may not be definitive, however.  High levels of gadolinium only show proof of retaining the chemical agent. Also, having a lower level of the chemical does not mean there weren’t high levels previously. Patients can take the test for differing lengths of time, but a 24-hour collection sample provides the most consistent results. It also reduces the chance of variables.

A doctor may request the 24-hour urine test through testing agencies like Quest Diagnostics or Lab Corp. The test is around $100. There are online options for testing for toxic metals if a medical professional will not order the test.

This is the least-invasive, and simplest way to determine if there are elevated levels of gadolinium.

Blood Testing

Blood test for gadolinium toxicity is another option. However, the plasma half-life of Gadolinium is approximately 90 minutes.  The Mayo Clinic states that elevated gadolinium more than four days after GBCA administration is not typical of most patients with normal renal function.  Blood tests often report undetectable levels when urine tests indicate elevated levels of Gadolinium.

Biopsy Testing

Dermal biopsies were a common way to diagnosis gadolinium toxicity in patients with neural systemic fibrosis (NSF). NSF is not the same as GDD, however, there are similarities since both illnesses involve the chemical’s retention. Dermatopathology labs will test any skin changes for gadolinium toxicity. Insurance may not cover this test, or labs may not offer it independently either. A researcher willing to test tissue specimens for evidence of gadolinium would need to complete it.

Free Case Evaluation

A gadolinium lawsuit may be an option for patients suffering from gadolinium retention and related complications. Gadolinium, used in dyes to increase the clarity of MRI and MRA scans, can create chemical element retention in the body, Therefore, this increases the risk of gadolinium deposition disease. This condition is accompanied by symptoms that include severe physical pain and cognitive difficulties. Affected patients and their loved ones may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages.

For more information, contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm. We offer free, confidential, no-obligation consultations. We have over 20 years experience helping consumers injured by unsafe products manufactured by large companies.

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