Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a relatively new entity, first described in 1997. Few cases have been reported, but the disease has high morbidity and mortality. To date it has been seen exclusively in patients with renal dysfunction. There is an emerging link with intravenous injection of gadolinium contrast agents, which has been suggested as a main triggering factor, with a lag time of days to weeks. Risk factors include the severity of renal impairment, major surgery, vascular events and other proinflammatory conditions. There is no reason to believe that children have an altered risk compared to the adult population. It is important that the paediatric radiologist acknowledges emerging information on NSF but at the same time considers the risk:benefit ratio prior to embarking on alternative investigations, as children with chronic kidney disease require high-quality diagnostic imaging.