Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis / Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy Claims are No Longer Being Reviewed.

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), also known as Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopoathy,(NFD) is a relatively new disorder which has been observed in those with impaired kidney function.

The disease was first identified in 1997, and the first description appeared in medical articles in 2000.  NSF/NFD research has increased as more information has been compiled about the painful and disfiguring disorder which often leads to dependence on a wheelchair.


Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis research is currently being done at Yale University, the CDC, the FDA and the medical regulatory agencies of the European Union. 

When the disorder was first recognized, it was investigated by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) together with the University of California in San Francisco.

Today a worldwide NSF registry is being compiled at Yale University by the International Center for NFD/NSF Research (ICNFDR).  A team of science researchers and physicians are compiling data and reviewing cases of NSF throughout the world in hopes of reaching a more complete answer about the exact cause of the disorder, effective treatments and an eventual cure for NSF.


There currently are over 400 reported cases of NSF worldwide, but most experts anticipate the number will increase significantly as physicians become more aware of the condition and recognize the symptoms of NSF.

The disease is not genetic, but rather it is an acquired disorder which has been seen in those with kidney disease.  Research indicates that about 5% of those with moderate to end stage renal disease who receive a gadolinium contrast injection for an MRI/MRA develop Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy.

Reported cases have demonstrated no differences in the rate of occurrence for men compared to women.  In addition, there does not appear to be any differences among various ethnic backgrounds.  Although most of the reported cases involve those in their middle ages, it has been shown to occur in children and seniors as well.


In 2006, researchers identified the cause of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy to be directly associated with the use of gadolinium contrast during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).  Nearly all individuals diagnosed with NSF have been confirmed to have received a gadolinium contrast injection.  The link was first reported by the Danish Medicines Agency in May 2006, which led to an FDA Public Health Advisory in June 2006 and a “black box” warning in 2007.

>>INFORMATION: MRI contrast problems

In November 2006, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published an article regarding the growing recognition that there was a strong association between gadolinium contrast and the disorder.  The article described a 68 year old white female who went to a dermatology clinic in June 2006 complaining of thickened skin on her arms, forearms, calves and shins which had started three weeks earlier.  What began as painful swelling rapidly became thick and hard, resulting in restricted movement.  She had undergone hemodialysis as a result of kidney failure months earlier, and during that time received an MRI scan of the heart using a gadolinium contrast agent.

In the April 2007 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis article summarized the results of a study of thirty three patients with the disorder.  Researchers indicate that exposure to an MRI/MRA gadolinium contrast agent was independently associated with the occurrence of NFD/NSF.

In an editorial note from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which accompanied the JAMA study, the federal agency officials indicated that gadolinium contrast should be avoided for those with advanced renal failure when possible.


The Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis Lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed claims for individuals diagnosed with the disorder after receiving an MRI with contrast or MRA with contrasts. New claims are no longer being pursued. This page is for informational purposes regarding cases previously investigated.