Editorial – Last December, I posted a Viewpoint titled “Gadolinium Retention – Is it all in my head?” When I wrote that, I believed I had retained gadolinium in my brain, thyroid gland, and various other parts of my body. I believed it, but I did not know it for sure. It is one thing to think it, but it causes totally different feelings when you have confirmation that you have retained a toxic metal in your body.
On April 8, 2015, I posted about the gadolinium found in my thyroid tissue that was removed 51 months after my 5th dose of a linear gadolinium-based contrast agent. In July, I learned that an analysis of my 2012 non-contrast brain MRI found evidence of gadolinium deposition in the globus pallidus; that MRI was performed exactly two years after my last dose of contrast. Because of recently published studies, I was not surprised that they detected residual gadolinium in my brain. At the time of my MRIs, except for hypertension and a past history of migraine headaches, I had no history of anything known to alter the blood-brain barrier. Then and now, I continue to have “normal” renal function with an eGFR >60, but yet, I have evidence of long-term retention of gadolinium in my body. If I only had gadolinium in my tissues and no symptoms, I might not worry about it as much, but that is not the case. (more…)
My first exposure to a Gadolinium-based Contrast Agent or GBCA took place in mid-2000. Of course, at that time I had no idea what they were injecting into me. All I knew was my doctor wanted me to have a brain MRI with contrast. Thankfully nothing abnormal was found, but in retrospect, I believe some of my symptoms that I thought were related to spine problems may have been caused by retained Gadolinium. From 2000 on, I began to experience periodic intense pain on the left-side of my head. In 2001, I developed a small section of hyperpigmented skin on the front of my neck that ran from just below the incision line for my first two anterior cervical fusions down to the base of my neck – it was centered directly over my thyroid gland.
It would be 8 more years before I had another MRI with contrast. In 2008, I had my 2nd and 3rd dose of a GBCA. My head pain intensified and started to happen more frequently after my second brain MRI with contrast.
By October of 2009, the pain on the left-side of my head, especially toward the top, became extremely intense and it lasted longer. My doctor ordered a brain MRA without contrast. Soon after the MRA unexplained things began to happen. (more…)
In the summer of 2012, I was asked if I had ever read anything about mast cells and Gadolinium or NSF. I vaguely remembered mast cells being mentioned in one study, but it obviously didn’t strike me as being important or I would have done some research on it then. But after digging around a bit, I came away thinking that there might be a connection between mast cells and the disease progression of NSF/GASF.
For those who don’t know, mast cells are found in tissues throughout the body, particularly in association with structures such as blood vessels, peripheral nerves, in mucosal membranes, skin and subcutaneous tissue. Mast cells are bone marrow-derived and particularly dependent upon stem cell factor for their survival. They express a variety of phenotypic features within tissues that are determined by their local environment. Mast cells appear to be highly engineered cells with multiple critical biological functions. (more…)