Description of 12 cases of nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy and review of the literature

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Feb;35(4):238-49. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2005.08.002.


Objectives: To review the clinical and laboratory features of 12 cases of nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD) studied at our institution and of 70 previously described cases in the literature.

Methods: Clinical evaluation and laboratory studies of 12 patients with NFD associated with chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis for end-stage renal disease and a review of 23 previous publications describing 70 patients with this disease.

Results: Eleven patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis and 1 patient undergoing chronic peritoneal dialysis for end-stage renal failure developed a severe and progressive cutaneous fibrotic process with woody induration of legs, thighs, hands, and forearms, and severe loss of motion and flexion contractures in multiple joints. Several patients displayed systemic involvement including fibrosis of muscles, myocardium, and lungs and marked elevations of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and/or C-reactive protein. Three patients died within 2 years of symptom onset. A review of previously published reports of this disorder confirmed the presence of systemic involvement and a poor prognosis with a high mortality rate.

Conclusions: NFD is a severe and usually progressive systemic fibrotic disease affecting the dermis, subcutaneous fascia, and striated muscles. It also appears that the disease can cause fibrosis of lungs, myocardium, and other organs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology*
  • Skin Diseases / pathology