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|MRI Dye Linked To Potentially Fatal Skin Disease|
A contrast agent is a liquid that is injected into the body to make certain tissues more visible during imaging procedures. Contrast agents containing gadolinium are most often used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The disease linked to gadolinium-containing contrast agents is called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NFD).
To date, 109 cases of NSF/NFD associated with gadolinium-containing contrast agents have been reported worldwide. There are no reported cases of NSF/NFD in Canada. So far, NSF/NFD has only been observed in patients with serious kidney disease. The seven gadolinium-containing contrast agents authorized for sale in Canada are Omniscan, Magnevist, Optimark, Gadovist, ProHance, MultiHance, and Vasovist.
The most visible effect is lesions on the skin. Affected skin becomes thickened with a woody texture, restricting joint movement and resulting in the shortening or distortion of muscle tissue. A skin biopsy is necessary to accurately diagnose this disease.
Health Canada recommends that patients with serious kidney disease consult their health care professionals regarding their individual needs in order to minimize the risk of developing NSF/NFD following an imaging procedure.
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