Gadolinium is used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) dyes to enhance test results. However, the FDA has found that the gadolinium-based dyes are linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, a sometimes fatal that involves the skin, muscle, and internal organs. According to the FDA advisory, signs of dangers include:
For the skin–burning or itching, reddened or darkened patches; and/or skin swelling, hardening and/or tightening
For the eyes–yellow raised spots on the whites of the eyes
For the bones, joints and muscles–joint stiffness; limited range of motion in the arms, hands, legs, or feet; pain deep in the hip bone or ribs; and/or muscle weakness
According to the FDA, reports of problems occurred in patients who had acute or chronic severe renal insufficiency, renal dysfunction due to the hepato-renal syndrome or renal dysfunction in the perioperative liver transplantation period. The vast majority of patients were receiving hemodialysis.
The FDA has called for new black box warnings to alert healthcare professionals as well as consumers of the dangers of NSF.