Although the exact cause of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) is still unknown, case studies have revealed that recent surgeries -particularly blood vessel angioplasties and other vascular surgeries – have occurred prior to the onset of NSF in a high number of patients.
What is Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF)?
Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a systemic disorder affecting the skin, as well as the body’s connective tissues. NSF has been linked to gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures, including a form of MRI called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) — an imaging scan used by doctors to distinguish blood vessels from surrounding tissues. Thus far, NSF has only been reported in patients with kidney disorders.
What Causes NSF?
NSF has been closely associated with blood vessel angioplasty procedures, as well as a number of other conditions and events including:
- Coagulation issues
- AV Fistula
- Failed kidney transplant
- Sudden onset of kidney disease characterized by swelling of the extremities
Researchers are currently investigating to see if any of these events could be a trigger for NSF. It is important to note that many of these events are preceded or followed by MRI or MRA exams. So the common denominator linking these events to the development of NSF may just be the gadolinium-based contrast dyes used with the MRI and MRA exams.