Observational study on the incidence of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in patients with renal impairment following gadoterate meglumine administration: the NSsaFe study

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2020 Feb;51(2):607-614. doi: 10.1002/jmri.26851. Epub 2019 Jul 9.


Background: Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a rare life-threatening condition strongly associated with the administration of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with severe or endstage renal impairment.

Purpose: To prospectively determine the incidence of NSF in patients with renal impairment after administration of gadoterate meglumine.

Study type: Prospective.

Population: In all, 540 patients with moderate, severe, or endstage renal impairment, scheduled to undergo a routine contrast-enhanced MRI with gadoterate meglumine. Mean age was 69.7 ± 12.7 years (range: 21-95) with 58.4% of males.

Field strength/sequence: 1.5T or 3.0T, sequence according to each site practice.

Assessment: Medical history, indication(s) for current MRI and adverse events were recorded for each patient. Patients were followed up over 2 years after administration with three visits separated by at least 3 months to detect any signs/symptoms suggestive of NSF.

Statistical tests: Descriptive.

Results: Renal impairment was graded as moderate for 69.4% of patients, severe for 16.0% and endstage for 12.1%; 2.6% had undergone a kidney transplant. Estimated glomerular filtration rate ranged from 4 to 59 mL/min/1.73 m2 except one value of 74 mL/min/1.73 m2 in a patient with kidney transplant. Central nervous system exploration was the main MRI indication (34.7%) and mean dose injected was 0.22 ± 0.09 mL/kg. Overall, 446 patients (82.6%) attended at least one follow-up visit and completed the NSF questionnaire and 329 (60.9%) attended the 2-year visit. No suspicion of NSF was reported in all 446 patients, including 119 patients with severe or endstage renal impairment. No deaths and no adverse events were reported during the MRI examination and the usual period of follow-up after gadoterate meglumine administration.

Data conclusion: No cases of NSF were observed in the 446 patients with moderate to endstage renal impairment followed up over a maximum of 2 years after injection of gadoterate meglumine.

Level of evidence: 2 Technical Efficacy Stage: 4 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2020;51:607-614.

Keywords: GBCA; gadoterate meglumine; nephrogenic systemic fibrosis; renal impairment; safety.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meglumine / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy* / chemically induced
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy* / epidemiology
  • Organometallic Compounds* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Meglumine
  • gadoterate meglumine