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Scientists say MRI drug leaves behind toxic residue

Many patients in Ohio who have undergone magnetic resonance imaging were likely given intravenous drugs called gadolinium-based contrast agents. Gandolinium is a toxic metal that is administered to patients before an MRI in order to optimize visibility of the inside of the patient's body. Now, researchers say that there is clear evidence that the administration of GBCAs leads to accumulations of the metal in patients' brains and bones.

Over the last 25 years, over 100 million patients have had GBCAs administered to them intravenously before an MRI. Less than 1 percent of the patients had negative side effects, and scientists thought that the toxic compound was excreted from patients' bodies soon after the procedure. Scientists now believe that contrast agents break the blood brain barrier and stay behind long after an MRI is completed.

A study in 2006 suggested that patients with renal disease could develop nephrogenic systemic fibrosis after they were administered GBCAs. Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh say that patients accumulate residual gadolinium regardless of whether or not they have renal disease. The researchers say that doctors should use caution before administering GBCAs and more research on the effects of GBCAs should be done.

A lot of people who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries are given MRIs. Those who believe that they were injured by the drugs used during the procedure might want to talk to an attorney to determine if there are any remedies available. An attorney may also be able to help a person with a brain injury to pursue financial compensation from the parties that were responsible for the brain damage.

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