Published online May 25, 2021. doi: 10.5527/wjn.v10.i3.29
Peer-review started: January 9, 2021
First decision: March 1, 2021
Revised: March 21, 2021
Accepted: May 7, 2021
Article in press: May 7, 2021
Published online: May 25, 2021
Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) used in magnetic resonance imaging are vital in providing enhanced quality images, essential for diagnosis and treatment. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) with GBCAs has been a deterrent for the physician and has led to avoidance of these agents in patients with impaired kidney function. NSF is a progressive debilitating multisystem condition described classically in patients with renal insufficiency exposed to gadolinium contrast media. It is characterized by an induration and hardening of the skin. NSF is described to first involve the extremities and can imperceptibly involve internal organs. Lack of therapeutic interventions to treat NSF makes it more challenging and warrants deep insight into the pathogenesis, risk factors and treatment strategies.
Core Tip: Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a chronic debilitating fibrosing disorder resulting in progressive hardening or induration of the skin. It mostly develops in patients with impaired kidney function. This review aims to provide insight into the pathogenesis, risk factors, clinical features and challenges in the management of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.