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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Aug 19;52(8):599-604. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.05.026.

Sodium bicarbonate versus saline for the prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy in patients with renal dysfunction undergoing coronary angiography or intervention.

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Division of Cardiology, Misericordia e Dolce Hospital, Prato, Italy. <>



The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of sodium bicarbonate versus isotonic saline in addition to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to prevent contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) in a larger population of patients with renal dysfunction undergoing coronary angiography or intervention.


Contrast-induced nephropathy accounts for more than 10% of hospital-acquired renal failure. Recent studies suggest that hydration with sodium bicarbonate is more protective than isotonic saline in the prevention of CIN.


The prospective, single center study included 502 patients with estimated creatinine clearance <60 ml/min, randomized to receive infusion of either saline or sodium bicarbonate before and after iso-osmolar contrast medium administration. All patients received oral NAC 600 mg twice a day. Contrast-induced nephropathy was defined as an absolute increase of serum creatinine > or =0.5 mg/dl measured within 5 days.


Contrast-induced nephropathy occurred in 54 patients (10.8%); 25 (10%) were treated with sodium bicarbonate and 29 (11.5%) with saline (p = 0.60). In patients with CIN, the mean increase in creatinine was not significantly different in the 2 study groups (0.9 +/- 0.6 mg/dl vs. 0.7 +/- 0.2 mg/dl, respectively; p = 0.15). Only 2 patients needed temporary hemofiltration.


Hydration with sodium bicarbonate plus NAC before contrast medium exposure is not more effective than hydration with isotonic saline plus NAC for prophylaxis of CIN in patients with moderate-to-severe renal dysfunction. (Sodium Bicarbonate Versus Saline for the Prevention of Contrast-Induced Nephropathy; NCT00606827).

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