There has been a link discovered between a metallic dye used as a contrasting agent in MRI scans and a dangerous skin disease. Patients with advanced kidney disease, who have had an MRI, are susceptible to the disease called nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy. The disease is also called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and it causes burning and itching, possibly leading to discoloration and stiffening of the skin. The CDC is warning kidney patients not to get MRI or similar tests with the contrasting agent. The dyes that are linked to nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy contain gadolinium. It is possible that patients with advanced kidney disease have trouble eliminating the contrast agent from their systems after an MRI. There is no consistently effective treatment for nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.
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