Heart Contrast Agents Continue to Draw Safety Concerns

Contrast agents used in echocardiograms continue to raise serious safety concerns even after the FDA decided earlier this year to relax some of its earlier warnings. The products — which include Optison, made by General Electric Co’s GE Healthcare, and Definity, made by privately-held Lantheus Medical Imaging — have already been linked to serious heart problems and deaths in some patients. In October 2007, the FDA stepped up its warnings for the imaging agents after the federal agency had received 200 complaints and reports of 7 deaths.
The contrast agents help radiologists view the heart more clearly yet these contrast agents have been linked to cardiopulmonary problems as well as breathing difficulty and seizures.