Gadolinium Toxicity

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Gadolinium Toxicity – A Disease of Degrees

Why does a Gadolinium Toxicity diagnosis have to be full-blown NSF (Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis) or nothing at all?  Patients with normal kidney function have been trying to get an answer to that question for years now, but for some reason no one is listening.

NSF, which can occur when someone with severe kidney disease retains large amounts of Gadolinium, is probably the worst manifestation of Gadolinium Toxicity.  But what happens to people who retain less Gadolinium?  Couldn’t those people also be adversely affected, but perhaps to a lesser degree than full-blown NSF?

We believe Gadolinium Toxicity is a “disease of degrees” which can manifest itself in many ways depending on how much Gadolinium someone retains.  Since free Gadolinium is toxic, it would seem that the severity of each person’s symptoms will likely depend on the total amount of Gadolinium retained from the administered Gadolinium-based Contrast Agent. (more…)

Is history repeating itself? Are Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents the next Thorotrast?

While doing research in early 2012, I came across a 2007 article written by J.F.M. Wetzels of The Netherlands that really caused me to pause and think about the problems associated with Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents.  The title was Thorotrast toxicity: the safety of Gadolinium compounds”.  Thorotrast was a radiocontrast agent used from 1930 to 1960.  It wasn’t until the late 1940’s that the first “Thorotrast-related malignancies” were described in the literature and the problem came to light.

Thorotrast particles had been deposited in cells in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes where they stayed and continually exposed the surrounding tissue to radiation.  The problems created by Thorotrast had such a long-latency period that malignancies might not show up for 45 years or more later.

Wetzels described what was happening with Gadolinium and NSF through 2006.  He said that because Gadolinium is a toxic, heavy metal, “Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents are all chelates, which must ensure that no free Gadolinium is present in the circulation”.  Wetzels closed by saying, “we must keep in mind that toxic effects may occur less frequently, later, and only after repeated exposure in patients with less severe renal dysfunction”.  When I read that, I thought of what might be happening to patients with normal renal function.  (more…)

Pain from Peripheral Neuropathy can be caused by metals like Gadolinium

When we conducted our Symptom Survey early in 2014, the one chronic symptom that everyone reported was “Pain”.  Some identified it as being an ache with dull, continuous pain, while others described it as burning, numbness, tingling, or prickling sensations (paresthesia), or as deep bone pain, or electric-like feelings.  The location of the pain was primarily in the extremities, followed by the hips, joints, and ribs.

From my own experience, I can tell you that I always have some level of pain even with taking prescription medication.  While stronger medications might make me feel pain free, I prefer to live with a tolerable level of pain rather than feel over-medicated.

From what I have read, it seems that most of our pain is the result of damage to our nervous system. (more…)

Iceberg ahead!

So why am I talking about an iceberg on the Gadolinium Toxicity website?  Let me explain.

Not long after I started researching NSF and Gadolinium in early 2010, I saw a reference to an editorial by Dr. Henrik Thomsen of Denmark that had been published in 2008.  The title was, Is NSF Only the Tip of the “Gadolinium Toxicity” Iceberg?  The title caught my attention and really made me think.  It took me a while, but I finally managed to find the editorial.  After reading it, I had more questions than answers.

It seems that in the early 1990s, there was already concern about the stability of the nonionic linear GBCAs, and the macrocyclic agents were found to be significantly more stable in serum.  It was known that transmetallation with other metal ions in the body was more apt to occur with the DTPA-based chelates, and when transmetallation occurs it results in the toxic Gadolinium ion remaining in the body.  Dr. Thomsen asked, “Why were nonionic linear chelates chosen instead of macrocyclic chelate?”  That is a very good question.

For those of us in the U.S., a better question might be, why did it take the FDA longer to react than the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and the Japanese authorities?  (more…)

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