The German registry for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis: findings from 23 patients

Eni S. Becker, Sharon Walter, O. Witzke, B. Wilde, U. Hillen, D. Napieralski, A. Kreuter, P. Altmeyer, Gisela Schieren, A. Daul, Lars C. Rump, A. Kribben*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a highly debilitating disorder primarily affecting the skin, but also other organ compartments. So far, it has only occurred in patients suffering from acute or chronic renal failure, with almost all of them having been exposed to gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA). The NSF registry was initiated on behalf of the German Society of Nephrology. The aim was to analyze the development, risk factors and clinical course of patients suffering from NSF.Between July 2007 and July 2009, 23 patients were registered (12/23 (52,2%) male and 11/23 (47,8%) female). Onset of NSF symptoms was between 2002 and 2008, with a maximum of 8 cases in 2005. Since January 2008 no patient with a new onset of NSF has been reported. On all patients nuclear magnetic resonance procedures were performed between 1 day and 3 years (median 30 days) before the onset of symptoms ("index procedure"). At the time of the index procedure 21/23 (91,3%) patients required dialysis, 15/22 patients (68,2%) showed signs and symptoms of atherosclerosis and 17/20 (76,5%) of inflammation. 22/23 patients remained in chronic kidney disease stage 5D. Upper and lower extremities were affected in 18/23 (78,3%) patients; 20/23 (87%) developed joint contractures.Our data confirm previous observations that NSF is associated with impaired renal function and the application of GBCA. In individual cases the interval between the index procedure and the onset of symptoms lasted years.The incidence of NSF has decreased rapidly within the past 4 years. This could be due to general awareness within the medical community and the application of macrocyclic chelates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-430
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • nephrogenic systemic fibrosis
  • NSF incidence
  • gadolinium
  • renal failure
  • macrocyclic chelates

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