Complications from MRI Contrast IV Dye Resulted in Severe, Disabling Injuries: Lawsuit

Side effects of the MRI contrast IV dye Multihance allegedly caused a Louisiana man to suffer severe and painful complications, which required hospitalization, according to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit.

Derrick Carter brought the complaint (PDF) against Bracco Diagnostics, Inc. on April 5, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, indicating that the gadolinium-based contrast agent was defective and unreasonably dangerous.

According to the lawsuit, Carter underwent a cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure on April 18, 2018. At that time, he was injected with MultiHance, which is a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) administered through IV to help enhance the MRI results. However, Carter claims that the gadolinium dye actually causes some users to suffer dangerous reactions.

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“Plaintiff has been re-admitted to the hospital several times due to ongoing complications from the IV dye,” the lawsuit states. “Petitioner, Derrick Carter, alleges that GBCAs caused him severe, disabling, and disfiguring injuries to his entire body.”

Gadolinium Dye Problems

In recent years, several studies have found evidence that gadolinium dye from MRI contrast agents may build up in the brain, or other parts of the body, potentially causing users to experience an allergic reaction and other problems following an MRI with contrast. As a result of the potential risk, the FDA has required more thorough research to help determine whether restrictions may need to be placed on the use of the contrast agents.

In December 2017, the FDA issued a drug safety communication for certain types of contrast agents, providing new information about the risk of gadolinium retention and potential side effects. As a result, manufacturers were required to provide new warnings and information in a Medication Guide, which all patients receiving an MRI contrast dye will be asked to read.

The FDA also recommended health care professionals consider the fact that the body retains gadolinium when deciding whether to give it to patients that may be at higher risk of health problems. These include women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant, patients with kidney problems, children, and patients when inflammatory conditions. The recommendations also suggest that repeated use of the contrast agents be minimized where possible, particularly when MRIs are scheduled closely together.

Patients are now urged to tell their health care professionals whether they are pregnant or may be pregnant, whether they have kidney problems, and the date of their last MRI with gadolinium, or whether they have had repeated MRI scans that involved the use of gadolinium contrast agents.

Carter’s case joins a growing number of MRI contrast IV dye lawsuits filed in courts nationwide, and the size of the litigation is expected to continue to increase over the coming months and years.

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