Gadolinium Toxicity

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NSF Diagnosis made by means of Elemental Bioimaging and Speciation Analysis

A novel approach to diagnosing Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, better known as NSF, was recently published by Birka et al in Analytical Chemistry. Birka and his colleagues used the combination of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), laser ablation (LA) ICP-MS for elemental bioimaging, and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) ICP-MS for speciation analysis, which allowed them to diagnose a case of NSF.  While the article, Diagnosis of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis by means of Elemental Bioimaging and Speciation Analysis, is very scientific in its details, there are facts to be learned by patients as well.

Skin biopsy specimens of NSF patients that were investigated by various techniques, found the presence of gadolinium deposits were mainly in the deeper regions of the subcutis (fat and connective tissue).  A correlation of gadolinium with calcium, sodium, and phosphorous was observed in all cases.

The case report in this study involved a young woman who exhibited characteristic symptoms of NSF that began in 2011.  Her clinical history included renal failure and kidney transplants from living donors in 2004 and 2006; the authors noted that she still has dialysis-dependent kidney insufficiency.  The patient had an MRI in 2002 with Magnevist (Gd-DTPA) and in 2005 with ProHance (Gd-HP-DO3A). (more…)

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…)

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…)

11 Tips for Patients with Gadolinium Toxicity

Suspecting or discovering that you are Gadolinium Toxic can be a scary time and you may not know what to do.  And if you are like others, the journey to manage your condition will last for an extended period of time.

The 11 Tips we present here will make understanding and managing your condition an easier task. (more…)

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