Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), also known as Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD), has been linked to the use of Gadolinium, a popular contrast dye used in MRIs and MRAs.
What is NSF / NFD?
NSF & NFD is a rare and serious syndrome that involves fibrosis of skin, joints, eyes, and internal organs. It usually affects the arms and legs but can also affect internal organs. Patients develop large areas of hardened skin with fibrotic nodules and plaques. The condition may develop over a short period of days or could take weeks to fully develop. Severely affected patients may be unable to walk, or fully extend the joints of their arms, hands, legs, and feet.
NSF / NFD Symptoms
There are a variety of symptoms associated with Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD).
- Hardening and tightening of the skin
- Red or dark patches on the skin
- Yellow spots on the whites of the eyes
- Stiffness in joints and trouble moving or straightening the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Pain deep in the hip bones or ribs
- Muscle weakness
NSF / NFD Treatment Options
So far, there has been no single, reliable treatment for NSF / NFD developed. Because the condition occurs parallel with kidney disease, it has shown that improvement in kidney disease shows to be an effective way of improving NSF. Doctors around the world have tried many forms of treatment including Oral steroids (prednisone), Topical Dovonex (under occlusion), Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP), Plasmapheresis, Cytoxan, Thalidomide, Ultraviolet therapy, Physical therapy (PT), Pentoxifylline (PXF), High Dose Intravenous Ig Therapy, and Renal transplantation. The most promising of these treatments appears to be oral steroids-prednisone.