MRIs(magnetic resonance imagery) is safe. It is not like a CT scan, which involves high doses of radiation. MRIs basically work by puling the protons in to alignment with a powerful magnet. The a radio wave is shot through the body to knock the protons out of alignment. Since the magnet is still on the protons get pulled back in to alignment. The computer takes the information of how long it takes for this to happen and uses this information to generate a 3D image. So no dangerous radiation involved.
nothing doctors do is safe except maybe weigh you. MRI would be way, way down by the bottom of the safety list.
Living is dangerous.
Going undiagnosed with a potentially serious disease makes living even more dangerous.
I am not a big fan of doctors either and have not been to one in 30 years. But there are times when a doctor's intervention is required. If you had an aneurysm blow out are you going to tell the doctors not to touch you because they are dangerous as you bleed out?
Contrasting agents are not always used with MRIs. Look up MRI WITHOUT contrast. In addition you also have to take in to account that there are times where these tests are needed and the condition they may have can be more serious than a scan. For example what if the person has a suspected brain tumor? You really only have a few choices such as CT scan, which will subject the person to massive amounts of radiation, MRI or crack the skull open.
The poster asked "Do you all consider MRIs safe?"
Your post did not go in to the dangers of contrast media, your info was incomplete. INCOMPLETE!
And your posting was MISLEADING. As I pointed out contrast agents ARE NOT always used. Furthermore you focused on ONE contrasting agent when there are over 70 used!!!
Do you have a problem with the fact that I chose to share info, and that I chose to alert the poster of possible dangers associated with MRIs?
No, I don't have a problem with that at all. What I do have a problem with is someone posting a tiny fraction of the truth due to their paranoia, which can scare someone out of a test that may be extremely important to their health and that may not even use a contrasting agent. People need to be careful about posting medical information like that when they really don't have a clue what they are talking about. Again we do not know what the MRI is about. So let's say someone asks the question because they are suspected of having a brain tumor. Are you going to stand up and take responsibility when that person dies of that undiagnosed brain tumor all because you scared them out of the test by posting misleading information? Please answer this because I really would like to hear your answer to this question!!!
This is a FORUM. A PUBLIC FORUM. Got that?
And nobody is stopping you. Got that?!!! But when you are posting misleading information that can put someone's life at risk then I don't give a damn about your ego I am going to say something!!!
I am entitled to reply to a post here, as is everyone else. These forums exist for the free exchange of info.
And I am part of the public as well and have every right to post here as you do. But apparently you think you are extra special for some reason and therefore you feel that anyone contradicting your beliefs should not have the right to post. But as you said "This is a FORUM. A PUBLIC FORUM. Got that?"
So the question remains of contrast agents when is too much harmful, to whom and when? It could be years before we will hear anything on this subject from watch dog agencies, if ever.
And the fact remains that if the person has something serious that requires a scan then they can be dead long before those years you are talking about.
I wonder how many people who are worried about the effects of one MRI spend each day driving on the roads inhaling automobile exhaust and the resultant photochemical smog along with all the rubber particles coming off the tires, the fumes from the plastic in their cars, etc.
The relatively new medical device is gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA or gadolinium) used during certain MRI or similar procedures. The new kidney related disease that is little more than a decade old is called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF). Caretakers inject the GBCA into the bloodstream just before patients undergo certain types of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Here is an example of how NSF might occur:
Patients undergo an MRI, MRA, or CT scan. As part of the procedure, doctors inject the patient with a contrast solution containing a rare earth metal called gadolinium. There are different commercial names for gadolinium-based contrast marker: Omniscan (General Electric), Magnavist (Bayer Healthcare), OptiMark (Mallinckrodt), MultiHance (Bracco), and ProHance (Bracco).
After being injected, the Gadolinium dissipates throughout the body. Ordinarily, gadolinium is extremely toxic to human tissues, and manufacturers have to chelate or coat gadolinium with benign chemicals to make it safe for use as an internal marker. Once the chelated gadolinium disperses in the body, doctors can use MRI to obtain a sharper image than they might have obtained without using gadolinium.
Once the MRI procedure is complete, there is no longer a need for chelated gadolinium to be circulating in the bloodstream or to be bound to other body tissue, and the kidneys usually remove the coated gadolinium from the blood. However, patients who have poor kidney function have less capacity to remove gadolinium from the body. This incapacity to remove gadolinium at a preferred rate leads to persistently high levels of residual gadolinium in body tissue. Compromised kidneys’ lack the “speed” necessary to remove gadolinium, and this failure to eliminate the gadolinium leads to a more dangerous situation.
The chelated gadolinium that remains behind in the bodies of patients with poor kidney function then goes through a further process where the protective chelate breaks off of the gadolinium, and free, very toxic, gadolinium remains. Lack of kidney function permits greater amounts of free gadolinium to circulate in the body. And gadolinium toxicity then begins to manifest in vital organs located outside the circulatory system.
For example, after free gadolinium reaches the skin, it forms deposits that cause the skin to become less elastic, patchy and discolored. Skin changes include blackening of tissue and scarring, which deforms and hardens the skin. The hardening and deformation of the skin leads to substantial pain and loss of flexibility while moving the arms and walking. Muscle tissue also absorbs the toxic gadolinium, causing further pain and weakness, with notable hip involvement.
Free gadolinium also deposits in the eyes, and in vital organs, such as the lungs, heart, and liver. Gadolinium deposits in vital organs often result in fatal organ failure.
Once again symptoms of gadolinium poisoning include:
Hardening and darkening of the skin;
Dark patches on the skin;
Painful joints and stiffness;
Difficulty straightening the arms, legs and feet;
Yellow patches on the eyes; and
Next we might ask why gadolinium escaped detection as a potential hazard for a good number of patients undergoing MRI.
Before March 1997 no doctor had ever heard of NSF. However, a few medical authors had suggested that a new diagnostic technique or agent might be responsible for the abrupt occurrence of this new disease. Unfortunately, three years passed before investigators first described NSF in the medical literature.
In February 2008, a Denver Colorado based ABC News station ran a story on NSF, explaining the progression of the disease and how it affected one patient who had fallen victim to gadolinium contrast medium.
Sometimes alternate sources of information, such as patents or patent applications tend to shed some light on issues surrounding a new invention. As a matter of course during the patent application process, the US Patent and Trademark Office mandates disclose of the best possible version of what will become the patented invention. Therefore, obtaining and reviewing a copy of a patent for a gadolinium-based contrast agent is a good way to get a feel for issues surrounding gadolinium and its use a contrast agent.
US Patent No. 5,961,953 (the ‘953 patent), granted in 1999 and assigned to Mallinckrodt (the manufacturers of the OptiMark brand of gadolinium contrast), raises a few issues regarding gadolinium.
As mentioned above, once gadolinium does its job, the body should be able to (and must) eliminate it. Usually, a healthy body has no problem doing just that. Since the kidney is the organ that does most of the work to rid the system of used gadolinium, patients with severely compromised kidneys do not have the capacity to eliminate coated gadolinium from their bodies before the protective coating disassociates.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems associated with using gadolinium.
According to the FDA, the first report of a problem associated with using gadolinium appeared on May 29, 2006 in a Danish Medicines Agency press release, and there was also an April 2006 Grobner report in Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation.
In addition, Marckmann had published a retrospective study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that included 370 patients with severe renal insufficiency, who became exposed to gadolinium during MRI procedures. These studies showed that exposure to gadolinium had a connection with a unique skin disease, and that there was an increased risk of NSF.
In December 2006 the FDA received information that patients with only moderate renal insufficiency were at risk for developing NSF. However, after further investigation, the FDA determined that those moderately compromised patients originally had severe renal impairment when they received gadolinium for their MRI procedures. The FDA also confirmed that patients with no impairment or even moderate renal insufficiency were not at risk. The report stated further that all five commercially available gadolinium markers were suspect in causing severe medical problems for renally compromised patients.
As a result of gaining this newly acquired information about gadolinium, the following occurred:
The FDA required that all gadolinium manufacturers include a new Boxed Warning, and a new Warnings section in labels, describing risks of developing NSF. Additionally, the FDA required manufacturers to collect data on patients with varying degrees of renal insufficiency that would be exposed to gadolinium. This data would allow a more accurate determination of the relative risk.
Lastly, it is important to know what manufacturers and the medical community knew about gadolinium’s risks, before the FDA approved gadolinium-based contrast agents.
Between 1988 and 2004, the FDA approved five versions of gadolinium-based contrast agents. Reportedly, the five gadolinium manufacturers studied the effects of the contrast agent on 3,000 patients, combined. Those studies revealed that some patients developed various skin conditions (including facial swelling, rash, itching and hives), irritated veins, and blood clots. The most common side effect after gadolinium administration was an allergic reaction, usually mild, but sometimes leading to fatalities.
Amazingly, those clinical studies included very few patients with compromised kidney function, or more severely impaired dialysis patients. This lack of attention to including higher risk patients in studies occurred, despite manufacturers’ knowledge that the kidney was the main excretory organ in the body for eliminating gadolinium. Therefore, gadolinium manufacturers knew just how dangerous and highly toxic gadolinium rare earth was to begin with, and that the coating must not dissociate from the toxic metal. Yet they all ignored the reality of testing a broad spectrum of patients more likely to require gadolinium enhanced MRI procedures. Those compromised patients would be the ones most likely to run the risk of leaving “naked,” toxic gadolinium in their bodies.