Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis: history and epidemiology

83 Citations (Scopus)


Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a new disease; the first case was diagnosed in 1997. It took 9 years before an association between NSF and gadolinium-based contrast agents (Gd-CAs) was identified. Gadolinium has several advantages for use in relation to enhanced MRI, but it is also a toxic heavy metal. For nearly 20 years, it was believed that Gd-CAs were safe, and they were used liberally. The prevalence of NSF cases varies between the various Gd-CAs, and adequate documentation of NSF cases after exposure to extracellular Gd-CAs remains a problem. All evidence points toward the fact that the real number of patients who have NSF has not been accurately totaled; the disease seems to be underdiagnosed for various reasons.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiologic Clinics of North America
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)827-31, vi
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy
  • Prevalence
  • Historical Article
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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