Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis: concepts and perspectives

Fibrose nefrogênica sistêmica: conceitos e perspectivas

Ana Carolina de Souza Machado Igreja Kleyton de Carvalho Mesquita Shawn Edwin Cowper Izelda Maria Carvalho Costa About the authors

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a chronic, progressive condition that develops in some patients with renal impairment after exposure to gadolinium-based contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging. Thickening of the skin is typical, usually affecting the extremities. Visceral organs can also be affected. The diagnosis of the disease requires careful clinicopathological correlation. Treatment aims at restoring renal function, which is associated with delayed progression and, eventually, remission of skin changes. Reduction and prevention of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis cases are based on limiting the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with kidney disorders (especially in patients with advanced renal failure at stages 4 and 5), and restricting their use to situations in which they are essential to diagnosis/follow-up. Other than limiting exposure to gadolinium based contrast agents, no effective preventive methods have been reported. Due to increased awareness about the disease among radiologists and nephrologists, the incidence of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is declining.

Contrast media; Gadolinium; Magnetic resonance imaging; Nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy; Renal insufficiency

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