Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a progressive, potentially fatal, multiorgan-system fibrosing disease related to exposure of patients with renal failure to gadolinium-based contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging. Between 1997 and 2007, more than 500 cases of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in patients with severe renal insufficiency (glomerular filtration rate less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) were reported, and no known cases of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis have occurred in patients with a glomerular filtration rate of more than 30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) without acute kidney injury. Additional major risk factors are use of high-dose and specific gadolinium-based contrast agents, a pro-inflammatory state. Although the mechanism of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is unclear and there is no consistently-effective therapy, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is an entity that can be eliminated by observing recent recommended guidelines for gadolinium-based contrast agents and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. This article reviews current knowledge about nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and focuses mainly on how to prevent it.
© 2012 The Japanese Urological Association.