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Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2006;40(1):63-9.

Effects of N-acetylcysteine on radiocontrast nephropathy in rats.

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Nephrology Unit, Dokuz Eylul University Hospital, Izmir, Turkey.



N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has yielded some promising results recently in the prevention of radiocontrast nephropathy (RCN). In this study, the structural and functional effects of NAC on RCN were analyzed.


Twenty-eight Wistar rats were randomized into four groups, as follows: Group 1, controls; Group 2, contrast; Group 3, contrast+NAC; and Group 4, NAC. All rats were deprived of water for 24 h and then contrast medium (ioxoglate; 10 ml/kg) was administered to Groups 2 and 3. NAC (50 mg/kg) was introduced enterally to Groups 3 and 4 at a dose of 50 mg/kg in 0.5 ml of distilled water, in four sequential doses 12h apart, starting after 12?h of water deprivation. After 4 days, rats were sacrificed. Creatinine clearance was calculated. The malondialdehyde (MDA) level was quantified in tissue samples. Slides stained with hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid-Schiff were examined by means of light microscopy. Each tubular cross-section from all images was scored as either mild (preserved brush border, no necrosis), moderate (loss of brush border, no necrosis) or severe (loss of brush border accompanied by necrosis) and the frequencies of these lesion severities were compared.


Mean baseline serum creatinine levels and creatinine clearances were similar in all groups. Mean serum creatinine level increased significantly only in Group 2 (0.6+/-0.1 vs 0.7+/-0.2 mg/dl; p<0.05). Tissue MDA levels were similar in all groups. Moderate (13.8%+/-1.5% vs 42%+/-1.4%; p<0.05) and severe (0% vs 40%+/-2.1%; p<0.05) lesions were significantly more frequent in Group 2 compared to Group 1. The frequency of severe lesions in Group 3 was found to be halved compared to that in Group 1 (40%+/-2.1% vs 20.2%+/-0.86%; p<0.05).


NAC protects the kidneys following exposure to contrast medium as it decreased the severity of tubular lesions in rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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