Ablavar, a gadolinium-containing contrast agent used during MRI and similar medical procedures, has recently been linked to long-term serious side effects known as gadolinium deposition disease and gadolinium storage condition.
What is Ablavar?
Ablavar is a contrast agent used for MRA evaluation of aortoiliac occlusive disease in patients with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease. It is a blood-pool contrast agent that reversibly binds to albumin. Ablavar is designed to make the MRA examination more convenient because it is less dependent on bolus dynamics.
What’s the Problem with Gadolinium?
Lawsuits are being filed in courts across the U.S. on behalf of people seeking compensation for the injuries they allegedly suffered from gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) like Ablavar. The most common types of injury named in these suits are gadolinium storage condition and gadolinium deposition disease, rare medical conditions resulting from gadolinium becoming permanently trapped in the patients’ bodies.
Gadolinium Storage Condition / Gadolinium Deposition Disease
In December 2016, a special issue of the journal Magnetic Resonance Imaging was dedicated to “Gadolinium Bioeffects and Toxicity”. The issue starts with a safety overview of GBCAs by MRI Safety expert Dr. Emanuel Kanal, and ends with articles by UNC Radiologist Dr. Richard Semelka.
Gadolinium Retention Symptoms
Skin and subcutaneous tissue burning pain
“Chemo brain” or “brain fog”
Thickening / discoloration of the skin
These symptoms tend to occur within hours to days of the patient being administered gadolinium contrast dye.
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) & Ablavar Contrast Dyes
In 2006, researchers discovered a direct association between NSF and the use of Gadolinium MRI contrast dyes such as Ablavar. Since that initial discovery, several other studies have reinforced the link between NSF and Gadolinium MRI contrast dyes. In 2006, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) first warned doctors of this Gadolinium side effect. Then in 2007, the FDA ordered the manufactures of Gadolinium contrast dyes to add a black box warning – the strictest type of FDA warning — to their product labels advising of the risk of NSF to people with kidney problems.