Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) has been related to the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) in patients undergoing dialysis. The Prospective Fibrose Nephrogénique Systémique study, a French prospective study supported by the French drug regulatory agency (Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament) and the French Societies of Nephrology, Dermatology, and Radiology, aimed at determining the incidence of NSF in patients undergoing long-term dialysis.
Materials and Methods
Adult patients undergoing long-term dialysis receiving a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination prescribed between January 15, 2009 and May 31, 2011, with or without GBCA were included. The methodology was based on a patient form intended to detect any dermatological event (DE) that may occur within 4 months after the examination. Further investigations were planned with their physicians if a DE was reported.
A total of 571 patients were included. A total of 50.3% received GBCA. Among them, 93.4% received a macrocyclic GBCA, usually gadoteric acid (88.9%). All in all, 22 patients (3.9%) reported a DE. Dermatological diagnoses did not reveal any evidence of NSF.
The incidence of NSF after a single dose of a macrocyclic GBCA is null in our sample of 268 patients undergoing dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis). This incidence is just lower than 0.5%. When contrast-enhanced MRI can be essential, or even decisive, to the diagnosis, these results are important and reassuring if physicians need to perform contrast-enhanced MRI in patients undergoing dialysis.