Chuck Norris Sues for MRI Dye Injuring His Wife

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Posted on: September 27, 2015

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By Dr. Mercola

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging study that allows your physician to see detailed pictures of your organs and tissues. Raymond Damadian invented the machine and performed the first total body image in 1977.1 This process has been called the one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the 20th century.

The MRI machine uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to take detailed cross-sectional pictures of your internal organs and tissues.2 The scanner looks like a tube with a table that enables you to slide into the tunnel of the machine to gather data. Unlike CT scans or X-rays that use ionizing radiation known to damage DNA, the MRI uses magnetic fields.

Images from an MRI give physicians better information about abnormalities, tumors, cysts and specific organ problems with your heart, liver, uterus, kidneys and other organs. In some instances, your physician may want an enhanced MRI, one using contrast agents to improve the clarity of the images produced. In one of every three MRIs with contrast, the agent used is gadolinium.3

What Is Gadolinium?

This is a chemical contrast medium or dye that is injected to enhance the quality of the images. Gadolinium is bonded to a chelating agent that is intended to reduce the toxicity of the chemical to your body as gadolinium is a dangerous heavy metal known to cause neurological damage. There are several products that include gadolinium, called gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA).4

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidelines on the use of GBCAs5 as they began an investigation into the potential health effects from brain deposits of the heavy metal. The FDA acknowledged that repeated use of GBCAs may result in gadolinium deposits in your brain and other tissues but has not determined if there are any adverse health effects from these deposits.

To reduce accumulation, the FDA recommends health care professionals limit use to circumstances where additional information garnered by the use of gadolinium is absolutely necessary.6 In response, institutional review boards responsible for the safety of patients in clinical trials or research studies developed consent forms that include a list of known risks, such as kidney damage and brain accumulation, with boxed warnings not to exceed recommended dosages.7

Johns Hopkins Office of Human Subject Research acknowledges specific challenges when using enhanced MRI imaging with GBCA as "there is potential severe toxicity related to a diagnostic procedure with no direct therapeutic value."8 GBCAs are sold under several different names based on the chelating agent to which they are bound and the drug company that developed them. These include:

Ablavar

Dotarem

Eovist

Gadavist

Magnevist

MultiHance

Omniscan

OptiMARK

ProHance

Physiological Issues Associated With Heavy Metal Toxicity

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