MRI Drugs Could Leave Toxic Residue In The Brain

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Wisconsin patients who experienced renal failure or kidney dysfunction may be interested to learn that some drugs used when performing an MRI may leave toxins behind. Magnetic resonance imaging is a machine that may be used to obtain images of a person’s soft tissues and internal body structures. To improve the quality of the images, many doctors use an intravenous drug that makes the body structures more visible.

According to a report published on June 16, however, it appeared that some of the drugs used could pass through the blood brain barrier and leave harmful residue in the person’s brain. Some of the intravenous drugs include gadolinium, which happens to be toxic. Until the study was published, it was believed by medical professionals that the gadolinium was harmlessly excreted by the patient later on. Depending on the patient’s heath, however, the small amount that may be left behind cause serious damage.

A study released in 2013 also found that even patients who were healthier were shown to have residual gadolinium levels. With that being said, the researchers also noted that not all gadolinium-based intravenous drugs left residues within the body. As such, more research was needed. Following the studies, the FDA did update the labels on these drugs to emphasize that patients should be screened by doctors to ensure that they do not have a kidney dysfunction before gadolinium-based intravenous drugs are used.

A patient who is prescribed a drug without being told about the potential side effects or risks and then suffers a brain injury may wish to speak with an attorney about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital. An attorney who has experience in this area may be able to demonstrate negligence after a review of the injured patient’s medical records and other evidence.