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Am J Med. 2001 Dec 15;111(9):692-8.

Prophylactic hemodialysis after radiocontrast media in patients with renal insufficiency is potentially harmful.

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University Hospital of Berne, Berne, Switzerland.



Acute renal failure induced by contrast media is an important cause of hospital-acquired renal insufficiency. Preexisting renal failure and the dose of contrast media are known risk factors for the development of radiocontrast nephropathy. We performed a randomized trial to test whether radiocontrast nephropathy can be avoided by prophylactic hemodialysis immediately after the administration of contrast media in patients with impaired renal function.


Renal function and other parameters, hemodialysis requirement, and relevant clinical events were recorded before and during the 6 days after administration of contrast media in 113 patients with a baseline serum creatinine level >200 microm/L (>2.3 mg/dL). Patients were randomly assigned to either hemodialysis (n = 55) or nonhemodialysis (n = 58) treatment after parenteral low-osmolality contrast media.


The characteristics of the patients in the two groups were similar. Compared with baseline levels, the mean [+/- SD] serum creatinine level decreased at day 1 (277 +/- 95 microm/L), peaked at day 4 (353 +/- 126 microm/L), and returned to baseline at day 6 (327 +/- 119 microm/L, P <0.05 by analysis of variance) after administration of contrast media in the hemodialysis group, whereas in the nonhemodialysis group, no significant changes in mean serum creatinine level were observed. Eleven patients required 1 or more hemodialyses (8 in the hemodialysis group and 3 in the nonhemodialysis group, P = 0.12), 6 of whom (4 vs. 2, P = 0.44) required 3 or more hemodialyses. Clinically relevant events included pulmonary edema (1 vs. 4 patients, P = 0.36), myocardial infarction (2 vs. 2), stroke (2 vs. 0, P = 0.24), and death (1 vs. 1).


The strategy of performing hemodialysis immediately after the administration of low-osmolality contrast media in all patients with a reduced renal function did not diminish the rate of complications, including radiocontrast nephropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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