Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis: Risk Factors and Incidence Estimation

Purpose: To retrospectively review data in 13 patients with biopsy-confirmed nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), assess the associated risk factors, and report the incidence of NSF at the authors' institution.

Materials and Methods: This HIPAA-compliant study had institutional review board approval; informed consent was waived. Statistical analysis was performed for all available clinical and laboratory data in patients with biopsy-confirmed NSF. The data from the patients with NSF were compared with data from a control population of patients with renal insufficiency but who did not develop NSF.

Results: There were eight male and five female patients, aged 17–69 years, with a diagnosis of NSF. Within 6 months of diagnosis, all 13 patients had been exposed to gadodiamide and one had been exposed to gadobenate dimeglumine in addition to gadodiamide. At the time of contrast material–enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, all 13 patients had renal insufficiency (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) and were hospitalized for a proinflammatory event (major surgery, infection, or vascular event). The group with NSF had significantly decreased eGFR (P = .01), more proinflammatory events (P < .001), and more contrast-enhanced MR examinations per patient (P = .002) than did the control group.

Conclusion: A combination of factors, including altered kidney function, inflammatory burden, and exposure to gadolinium-based contrast agents may all play a role in development of NSF. Alternative imaging should be considered in patients with these factors. If use of a gadolinium-based agent is clinically indicated, the referring physician and patient should be informed of the potential risk of developing NSF.

© RSNA, 2007

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Article History

Published in print: 2007