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Invest Radiol. 1986 Jan;21(1):64-70.

Effects of contrast media on renal function and subcellular morphology in the dog.


The effects of intravenous contrast media (CM) on renal excretory function and subcellular morphology are examined in this animal investigation. A decrease in GFR (12.0 +/- 1.6 vs. control 30.2 +/- 2.5 ml/min) was observed when renal function was evaluated by means of the artero-venous extraction method with Tc99m DTPA and the anticipated inverse relationship to urinary flow (Vml/min) noted. An artifactual increase in GFR (43.5 +/- 10.0 vs. control 39.1 +/- 3.8 ml/min) was observed using the timed urinary clearance of inulin. V(ml/min) increased four-fold (0.6 +/- 0.16 control vs. 2.7 +/- 0.7 ml/min; P less than .05) over the first five minutes after injection of CM. Urine osmolality initially approached isotonicity and then returned toward preinjection values. Osmolal clearance (Cosm) rose 2.5 times (1.4 +/- 0.3 control vs. 3.7 +/- 1.0 ml/min; P less than .05). The fractional excretion of both Na+ (FENa+) and K+ (FEK+) increased. A comparison of urinary osmolality vs. time after injection of CM confirms a nonspecific osmotic effect on tubular (and hence total urine) flow. The hemodynamic effects of CM on the kidney via the i.v. route reflect a predominant and nonspecific osmotically mediated vasodilation. No significant light or electron microscopic changes were observed. These findings suggest that the major renal physiologic actions of hypertonic CM are a nonspecific response to agent osmolality.

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