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Risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is low in patients with chronic liver disease exposed to gadolinium-based contrast agents.

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To determine the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in a cohort of patients with chronic liver disease.

Materials and methods

This retrospective, Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant study was performed at a single tertiary liver center. The study cohort comprised 1167 patients with chronic liver disease followed in a liver clinic and exposed to gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) between February 2004 and October 2007. A retrospective review of medical records was performed. For each patient, data were collected on demographics, history of GBCA exposure, presence of purported risk factors for NSF, and histopathological evidence of NSF.


Of the 1167 patients with chronic liver disease, 58% (n = 678) had cirrhosis. The patients had a total of 2421 separate GBCA exposures. Fifty-five percent (n = 646) had a single exposure, 19% (n = 218) had two exposures, and 26% (n = 303) had three or more exposures. Seventy-two percent (n = 843) of patients had renal insufficiency, 25 patients (2.1%) had hepatorenal syndrome, 80 patients (6.8%) were in the perioperative liver transplant period, and 49 patients (4.2%) had one or more additional risk factors for NSF. None of the 1167 patients developed NSF.


Chronic liver disease does not appear to be a significant risk factor for NSF.

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