Most Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis Cases Linked to 3 MRI Contrast Agents

Ominscan, Magnevist and Optimark are the three gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents associated with the highest number of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) cases, according to new radiology industry safety standards. 

In a new safety manual on the use of MRI contrast agents, which are injected prior to an MRI to improve the results of imaging scans, the American College of Radiology (ACR) identified the three products as those most frequently associated with the rare and often fatal condition that is associated with the hardening and thickening of the skin, which severely restricts movement. ACR said that investigators now believe that the “intrinsic properties” of those three products increases the likelihood of at-risk patients developing NSF.

The most cases by far were associated with GE Healthcare’s Omniscan MRI Contrast, which was linked to at least 382 cases of NSF out of approximately 13 million doses. By comparison, the second highest number of cases was associated with Bayer’s Magnevist MRI contast, which had 195 cases of NSF out of approximately 23 million doses. The third highest was OptiMARK MRI contrast by Covidien, which was linked to 35 cases of NSF out of 4.7 million doses.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

ACR noted that the difference in rates between those three and other gadolinium-based contrasting agents could be due to both toxicity and market share.

NSF, which is sometimes referred to as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD), is a rare condition that is only known to occur after exposure to a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) among individuals with impaired kidney function. There is no cure for the painful and debilitating condition, and in many cases it results in death over time.

The manufacturers of all types of gadolinium-based agents were required by the FDA to add the same “black box” warning about the risk of NSF from MRI with contrast in the United States in 2007, indicating that individuals with severe kidney problems could develop NSF. However, many have argued that the warnings about Omniscan side effects should be stronger than those on other available contrast agents, possibly calling for a ban on use of the product in some patients.

Hundreds of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis lawsuits have been filed in the United States by individuals who developed the condition after receiving a gadolinium-based contrast agent. Out of the five approved contrast agents, Omniscan has been associated with the most lawsuits over NSF, outnumbering the other drugs in proportions that far exceed their market share. It has been estimated that about 75% of all NSF lawsuits involve cases where the plaintiff developed the condition after use of Omniscan, even though GE’s contrast agent only accounts for about 30% of the market share.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer
Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer "Representative" (Posted 5 days ago)

Bard claims two cases selected for the third and fourth bellwether trials are no longer representative of the litigation due to the plaintiffs' worsening injuries and need for additional surgeries due to their failed hernia mesh products.