Gadolinium Toxicity

Home » Help

Category Archives: Help

Viewpoint Categories

Study finds GBCAs induce Mitochondrial Toxicity and Cell Death

A preclinical study by Bower et al. found that gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) have a toxic effect on mitochondrial respiratory function and cell viability in human neurons.  The study, Gadolinium-Based MRI Contrast Agents Induce Mitochondrial Toxicity and Cell Death in Human Neurons, and Toxicity Increases with Reduced Kinetic Stability of the Agent, was published online ahead of print in Investigative Radiology.  For the study, neurons modeling a subset of those in the basal ganglia were tested, because the basal ganglia region is one of two brain regions that displays the greatest T1-dependent signal hyperintensity changes.  Multiple studies have shown that T1-signal intensity changes in the brain are the result of gadolinium deposition.  The authors noted that there is increasing evidence that all agents (linear and macrocyclic) remain in human brain tissue for some period of time, where they may be taken up into various cell types, including glia and neurons.

Reports of possible clinical symptoms experienced by patients after a contrast-enhanced MRI have been published. However, until this study, it was unknown whether GBCAs induce toxic effects on the cellular function of human neurons.  This study provides the first definitive evidence that GBCAs induce mitochondrial toxicity and cell death in cultured human neurons.  The authors said that the “magnitude of the measured toxicity broadly increases as the kinetic stability of the contrast agent decreases, and the lower stability agents induce toxicity at concentrations that fall within the range detected in some autopsy patients”.  “For all agents, the magnitude of the toxicity increases with concentration.” (more…)

Study Reports Gadolinium Clearance Times for 135 Contrast MRI Cases including Agent Administered for 63 Unconfounded Cases

On December 5, 2018, Hubbs Grimm and Sharon Williams, coauthors of GadoliniumToxicity.com, released their fifth research paper on gadolinium retention from Gadolinium-based Contrast Agents (GBCAs) administered for contrast-enhanced MRIs.  The paper is titled Gadolinium Clearance Times for 135 Contrast MRI Cases and includes the contrast agents for the unconfounded cases.

Drawing on the contrast MRI history and 24-hour gadolinium urine testing results that have been received from members of the MRI-Gadolinium-Toxicity Support Group on Yahoo, the study reports retrospectively on 135 cases with 218 urine test results, including 63 unconfounded cases with 81 test results.  The participants all had normal kidney function and report having symptoms of gadolinium toxicity.  The results reported are dramatic and involve all linear and macrocyclic GBCAs currently in use in the United States.

About the Gadolinium Clearance Time Report

In addition to reporting on additional cases received since our previous paper in 2017, we now report the contrast agents received with each unconfounded case.  Analysis of the these cases produced trend lines over time that indicate typical gadolinium found in 24-hour urine testing for each of the agents including Dotarem, Gadavist, Magnevist, MultiHance, Omniscan, OptiMARK, and ProHance.  The graphs and tables provide helpful information for both patients and medical practitioners trying to understand their test results.  The analysis of clearance times for each agent is presented on a separate page.

The results show that all agents, both linear and macrocyclic, do not clear from the body in a few days as most patients are told.  None of the test results in the first 2.5 months following a contrast-enhanced MRI was within the reference range used by Mayo Clinic Laboratories.  It should be noted that the contrast agent and test result information presented is from people who believe they are suffering symptoms of gadolinium toxicity since their contrast-enhanced MRI.  It is not known whether the clearance times presented would also apply to individuals who are not symptomatic.

The complete set of test results, without any data that would identify patients, is available to other researchers upon request.

With the evidence provided that clearance times are much longer for all of the agents than expected by medical practitioners, the authors present five recommendations for needed actions by medical professionals, other researchers, government agencies, and contrast agent manufacturers.

Final Thoughts

We want to thank members of the MRI-Gadolinium-Toxicity Support Group for their willingness to share their test results and other information with us.  Our papers would not be possible without their continued support.

We urge patients, clinicians, and researchers to read the entire report and share as appropriate with your families, caregivers, and colleagues.

Read the Gadolinium Clearance Times for 135 Contrast MRI Cases Report

Hubbs Grimm and Sharon Williams

Head Pain is a diagnostic feature of Gadolinium Deposition Disease

On May 18, 2018, Dr. Richard Semelka added Head Pain to the recently revised primary clinical diagnostic findings for Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD) and he described two critical diagnostic features of GDD.  First, symptoms of GDD must start within minutes to one month after administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA).  Second, the symptoms experienced by the patient after GBCA administration must be new, and not preexisting.

There are now 6 symptoms that stand out to Dr. Semelka as critical diagnostic findings for GDD.  He said that it is imperative that individuals have at least 3 of the symptoms, but he prefers to see 5/6 to be certain of the diagnosis.

The 6 main clinical criteria for Gadolinium Deposition Disease, as described by Dr. Semelka are:

1.  Intense burning of the skin and skin substrate.  Arising in early stage (early on after GBCA): This can be an all over feeling in the body, but often may be localized to the trunk region or distal extremities.

2.  Intense boring pain in bones or joints.  Arising in early stage (early on after GBCA):  This can be any bones or any joints. Often the joints may be peripheral but can also be large joints like the knee or hip. Any bones can have severe point pain, but rib pain is quite distinctive for the disease.

3.  Brain fog.  Arising in early stage (early on after GBCA): Many terms have been used for this: mental confusion sounds more scientific, but brain fog gets the point across well and succinctly. Brain fog is also a prominent feature of lead toxicity, which is another heavy metal toxicity.

4.  Muscle vibrations (muscle fasciculations) and skin pins and needles/tingling (early on after GBCA).  These symptoms may represent part of the same process that is causing brain fog. Muscle vibrations/twitching and pins and needles skin sensations generally reflect nerve disease (neuropathy).

5.  Head pain (early on after GBCA).  Headache is both a very common occurrence and shows tremendous variability.  GDD sufferers describe it as a head pain, and unlike any other type of head-ache they have previously experienced. These two properties provide differentiating features for this entity.  Some describe it as a burning pain and as an extreme tightness feeling (like a tight bathing cap on their head).

6.  Distal arm and leg skin/skin substrate thickening, discoloration, and pain. Arising in the subacute stage (2 weeks +): This is very much like the principal features of NSF, but generally less severe. Instead of woodiness, doughiness; instead of redness, pinkness; instead of extreme joint contractures, stiffness of joints and decreased range of motion. Skin tightness is a feature of GDD as well.  This symptom complex should be expected.

(more…)

Clinical Criteria for Gadolinium Deposition Disease has been revised

On May 12, 2018, Dr. Richard Semelka revised the primary clinical diagnostic findings for Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD).  While the revision is being made sooner than anticipated, Dr. Semelka said it is based on well-informed recommendations from “patient experts” on the disease, and observations from 2 physician sufferers.  There are 5 symptoms that stand out to Dr. Semelka as critical diagnostic findings for GDD.  It is imperative that individuals have at least 1 of the symptoms, but he prefers to see 4/5 to make certain of the diagnosis.  Note that a 24-hour gadolinium urine test, performed 30 days or more after an MRI with a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA), is still part of the diagnostic criteria for GDD.

The revised main clinical criteria for Gadolinium Deposition Disease, as described by Dr. Semelka are:

  1. Intense burning of the skin and skin substrate.Arising in early stage (early on after GBCA): This can be an all over feeling in the body, but often may be localized to the trunk region or distal extremities.
  2. Intense boring pain in bones or joints. Arising in early stage (early on after GBCA): This can be any bones or any joints. Often the joints may be peripheral but can also be large joints like the knee or hip. Any bones can have severe point pain, but rib pain is quite distinctive for the disease.
  3. Brain fog. Arising in early stage (early on after GBCA): Many terms have been used for this: mental confusion sounds more scientific, but brain fog gets the point across well and succinctly.
  4. Muscle vibrations (muscle fasciculations) and skin pins and needles/tingling (early on after GBCA). These symptoms may represent part of the same process that is causing brain fog. Muscle vibrations/twitching and pins and needles skin sensations generally reflect nerve disease (neuropathy).
  5. Distal arm and leg skin/skin substrate thickening, discoloration, and pain. Arising in the subacute stage (2 weeks +): This is very much like the principal features of NSF, but generally less severe. Instead of woodiness, doughiness; instead of redness, pinkness; instead of extreme joint contractures, stiffness of joints and decreased range of motion. This symptom complex should be expected.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: