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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2010 Nov;19(6):539-49. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e32833d42e3.

Strategies for the prevention of contrast-induced acute kidney injury.

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Renal Section, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15240, USA.



The intravascular administration of iodinated contrast media for diagnostic imaging is a common cause of acute kidney injury and a leading cause of iatrogenic renal disease. The purpose of this review is to describe the principal risk factors for contrast-induced acute kidney injury and to summarize recent data describing the efficacy of various preventive interventions for this condition.


Whereas earlier studies suggested that certain low-osmolal contrast agents including iohexol and ioxaglate are more nephrotoxic than iso-osmolal iodixanol, recent clinical trials and meta-analyses comparing other low-osmolal contrast agents with iodixanol have found little difference in risk. The provision of prophylactic renal replacement therapy does not ameliorate the risk of contrast-induced acute kidney injury, and likely poses undue risk. Despite some research supporting a benefit of atrial natriuretic peptide, statins, and prostaglandin analogs, additional data from large, adequately powered studies are needed before these agents can be recommended. N-Acetylcysteine and isotonic intravenous bicarbonate have been investigated intensely, yet the data on these interventions are conflicting due to methodological limitations in past studies.


Prevention of contrast-induced acute kidney injury involves the identification of high-risk patients, consideration of alternative imaging procedures that do not involve the administration of iodinated contrast, and integration of the cumulative data available on preventive interventions in high-risk patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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