What Are Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents (GBCAs)?

A gadolinium contrast medium, also known as an MRI contrast agent or dye, is a chemical substance injected into the body before an MRI to enhance the images. The enhancement allows the radiologist to better analyze the images to report the findings to a doctor.

GBCAs are composed of molecules held together by chemical bonds, according to Inside Radiology. The gadolinium is bonded to a chelating agent to counter the toxicity of the chemical element while maintaining its magnetic properties.

There are several types of dyes containing gadolinium. These are the trade names GBCAs approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to Medscape:

  • Omniscan
  • Optimark
  • Magnevist
  • MultiHance
  • Eovist/Primovist
  • Ablavar
  • Dotarem
  • ProHance

The dye is typically injected intravenously near the site of the scan and is later naturally removed from the body through the kidneys.

Gadolinium Linked to Complications

Millions of people have had gadolinium-based dyes injected before their MRI, with countless people experiencing serious and unexpected side effects.

Who is at Risk?

Millions of people around the world have used MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans to look for or diagnose diseases and injuries. But mounting evidence suggests that the contrast agents containing gadolinium used to enhance the images may put patients at risk for developing potentially lethal side effects.

Symptoms of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

  • Swelling or tightening of the skin
  • Darkened patches, especially on extremities
  • Skin hardening
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Chronic pain in the skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bent joints
  • Blisters
  • Blood clots

Gadolinium Lawsuit Claims

  • They failed to warn patients and doctors of gadolinium risks
  • They withheld safety information from patients and doctors
  • They failed to conduct proper research on the potential side effects
  • They failed to look into reports of patients with normal renal function suffering severe side effects
  • They designed and manufactured an MRI contrast agent that is dangerous
  • They falsely marketed their product as safe to promote sales

Gadolinium Injury Lawsuits

With millions of people taking gadolinium-based dyes, countless people have experienced serious and unexpected side effects. As a result, thousands have filed lawsuits against the makers of GBCAs. For years, the makers of gadolinium-based contrast agents may have been aware of the risks associated with the MRI drug but failed to warn the public. Victims of this gadolinium lawsuit want to hold the manufacturers of these harmful agents responsible for their pain and suffering. Thousands of patients could be entitled to compensation for damages and Broughton Partners wants to help these victims find your law firm.


European investigators identified a possible association between NSF and gadolinium dyes that the public became aware of the dangers of gadolinium. That same year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory on potential risks.


Hundreds of Gadolinium lawsuits were filed by MRI patients suffering from renal or kidney problems in federal court claiming the dyes caused them to develop Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis. Lawsuits were consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL 1909) with the Northern District Court of Ohio.

September 2010

The FDA began requiring a new class warning for all gadolinium-based contrast agents to ensure these drugs are used appropriately and that patients who are at risk of NSF are monitored.


Paul Decker claimed he contracted the NSF after being injected with one of the gadolinium dyes in 2005 and sued GE Healthcare. During his trial in 2013, damaging information about GE came out suggesting that the company may have been trying to hide problems with the drug. Decker and his family were awarded $5 million by a jury.

July 2015

The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication with information about their investigation into the risk of brain deposits with repeated use of gadolinium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

July 2017

European Medicines Agency restricted the use of gadolinium agents and suspended the approval of others.

November 2017

Actor Chuck Norris and his wife, Gena, filed a lawsuit against three companies for $10 million over claims that their gadolinium agents nearly cost Gena her life

December 2017

The FDA began requiring a new class warning for all gadolinium-based contrast agents over concerns that the chemical agent stays in patients’ bodies years after receiving the drugs.

May 2018

The four manufacturers of linear Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents issued a joint warning about how the agents could remain in a patient’s body for months or years after being injected. The manufacturers also warned that the highest concentrations of gadolinium were found in the bones of patients.


Dave Fornell. “The Debate Over Gadolinium MRI Contrast Toxicity“, Image Technology News. Accessed March 20, 2019.

MedShadow. “Is Common MRI Contrast Dye Safe? What You Need to Know”, MedShadow Foundation. Accessed March 20, 2019.

RadiologyInfo.org. “Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Body”, RadiologyInfo.org. Accessed March 20, 2019.

RHubbs Grimm. “Symptoms associated with Gadolinium Toxicity”, Gadolinium Toxicity. Accessed March 20, 2019.