Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis following exposure to gadolinium-containing contrast agent

Clin Nephrol. 2007 Oct;68(4):249-52. doi: 10.5414/cnp68249.


Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a disease recently described in patients with kidney failure. It is characterized by scleroderma-like thickening of the skin, subcutaneous edema and ensuing joint contractures leading to profound disability. Furthermore, involvement of internal organs has been described. Whereas the pathogenesis is not known to date, recent reports have linked NSF to high doses of gadolinium-containing contrast agents given at magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). We describe a patient with severe NSF. The patient had received erythropoietin and had undergone vascular interventions which are suspected risk factors for this disease. Notably, the disease developed shortly after the application of gadolinium at an MRA, giving support to the recently published hypothesis that gadolinium-containing contrast agents are among the causative factors. We provide a short overview and hope to raise overall awareness towards this entity and the use of MRA contrast agents in renal patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Gadolinium DTPA / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / chemically induced*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / pathology
  • Skin / pathology


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA