Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) was originally named nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD). It got its first name when the disease was thought to only affect the skin (dermopathy = disorder of the skin). However, once it was discovered that the condition may also affect the body's vital organs, the name was changed to a more appropriate term, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.

Marked by thickening skin masses and the development of large, abnormal areas of pigmentation on the skin, NSF can appear to resemble other skin disorders, such as scleroderma or scleromyxedema. It is a much more severe condition, however, and can affect the internal organs, potentially causing:

  • a permanent shortening of the muscles and tendons
  • the development of scar tissue
  • a limited range of motion and mobility

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis typically develops quickly but will then commonly stop progressing within a few months. Yet, significant irreversible physical damage or fatality can occur within these initial months.

Causes & Risk Factors for Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Patients who develop nephrogenic systemic fibrosis are usually those who have a history of renal insufficiency (kidney problems) or those who have been exposed to MRI contrasting agents that contain gadolinium, a metallic element. MRI contrasting agents, also known as MRI contrasting dyes, are injected into patients prior to an imaging test. When the MRI is preformed, the dye will improve the visibility of internal organs, as well as show their (in)ability to function properly.

Patients with the highest risk of developing NFD include those who have:

  • moderate to severe kidney disease
  • undergone dialysis for kidney failure
  • had a kidney transplant
  • a medical history of taking immuno-suppressant medications
  • a medical history of any other condition that has resulted in impaired renal function, such as hepatitis C

The Center for Disease Control warns doctors against using gadolinium contrast agents in patients with any of the above risk factors.

Gadolinium Agents Associated with NSF

Of the seven FDA-approved gadolinium agents, four are suspected of being associated with the development of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. These include:

  • Magnevist
  • Multihance
  • Omniscan
  • OptiMARK

For more information about the condition, its symptoms or complications, please contact an NSF lawyer today. We will evaluate the details in your case to find out if you qualify to seek a legal remedy.

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Gadolinium Contrast Agents Required to Include New Warning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a news release Sept. 9, 2010, requiring that contrast agents containing gadolinium carry a new warning on their labels because it can lead to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). Read More »

First Gadolinium Lawsuit Filed in U.S. Court

An Ohio woman has filed what is believed to be the first gadolinium lawsuit, claiming that the MRI dye Magnevist-made by Bayer-caused her 24-year-old son's death.
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Gadolinium-Based MRI Dyes Get Black Box Warning

The Food and Drug Administration has asked that a black box warning be added to all gadolinium-based MRI dyes to highlight the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, or NSF.
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