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Int J Angiol. 2009 Winter;18(4):193-7.

Prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy: A randomized controlled trial of sodium bicarbonate and N-acetylcysteine.

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  • 1Department of Medicine;



Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) continues to be a common cause of acute renal failure in high-risk patients undergoing radiocontrast studies. However, there is still a lack of consensus regarding the most effective measures to prevent CIN.


ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN PATIENTS WITH DIABETES MELLITUS AND/OR RENAL INSUFFICIENCY, SCHEDULED FOR CORONARY ANGIOGRAPHY OR INTERVENTION, WERE RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO ONE OF FOUR TREATMENT GROUPS: intravenous (IV) 0.9% NaCl alone, IV 0.9% NaCl plus N-acetylcysteine (NAC), IV 0.9% sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO(3)) alone or IV 0.9% NaHCO(3) plus NAC. All patients received IV hydration as a preprocedure bolus and as maintenance. Iso-osmolar contrast was used in all patients. CIN was defined as an increase of greater than 25% in the serum creatinine concentration from baseline to 72 h.


The overall incidence of CIN was 6%. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of CIN among the groups. There was a CIN incidence of 7% in the NaCl only group, 5% in the NaCl/NAC group, 11% in the NaHCO(3) only group and 4% in the NaHCO(3)/NAC group (P=0.86). The maximum increase in serum creatinine was 14.14±12.38 μmol/L in the NaHCO(3) group, 10.60±29.14 μmol/L in the NaCl only group, 9.72±13.26 μmol/L in the NaCl/NAC group and 0.177±15.91 μmol/L for the NaHCO(3)/NAC group (P=0.0792).


CIN in high-risk patients may be effectively minimized solely through the use of an aggressive hydration protocol and an iso-osmolar contrast agent. The addition of NaHCO(3) and/or NAC did not have an effect on the incidence of CIN.

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