Prevalence of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in renal insufficiency patients: results of the FINEST study

Eur J Radiol. 2010 Feb;73(2):357-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.11.021. Epub 2009 Jan 6.


Purpose: Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is characterized by widespread tissue fibrosis, mainly affecting the skin. Gadolinium chelates have been implicated in the onset of NSF in patients with renal impairment (RI). The FINEST study (FIbrose Néphrogénique SysTémique) was designed to determine the prevalence of NSF after magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in French RI patients.

Materials and methods: We studied all patients with RI who had at least one MRI examination during a one-year period, with or without gadolinium chelate administration. Data were collected retrospectively from 9 Nephrology Departments in France, and included sex, age, renal function, type of gadolinium administered, and subsequent cutaneous disorders. If a patient presented a cutaneous disorder, a skin biopsy was performed to confirm the diagnostic.

Results: The 308 eligible patients had a mean age of 59.9 years, 59% were men, and 54% had stage 5 RI. 75% of those 308 patients received a Gadolinium chelate. Among those patients who received a gadolinium chelate, 76% received gadoterate, 20% gadopentetate, 3% gadodiamide and 1% gadobenate. No cutaneous disorders were recorded after MRI.

Conclusion: These results confirm that NSF is a rare disease. Based on a reported frequency, approximately 3.5% in patients with glomerular filtration rate <30ml/min/1.73m(2)), some cases should have been observed in our study which included 308 patients. Most patients received gadoterate, a macrocyclic gadolinium chelate for which no case of NSF has been observed worldwide. This suggests that more stable macrocyclic agents may be less likely to induce NSF.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy / diagnosis*
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity