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Radiology. 2013 Apr;267(1):94-105. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12121394. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Contrast material-induced nephrotoxicity and intravenous low-osmolality iodinated contrast material.

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Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, B2-A209P, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, USA.



To determine whether intravenous low-osmolality iodinated contrast material is associated with post-computed tomography (CT) acute kidney injury (AKI).


Institutional review board approval was obtained and patient consent waived for this HIPAA-compliant retrospective study. CT examinations performed over a 10-year period in adult inpatients with sufficient serum creatinine (SCr) data were identified. A one-to-one propensity-matched matched cohort analysis with multivariate analysis of effects was performed with post-CT AKI as the primary outcome measure (10,121 unenhanced and 10,121 intravenous contrast-enhanced CT examinations in 20,242 patients). Propensity matching was performed with respect to likelihood of patient receiving intravenous contrast material (36 tested covariates). The primary endpoint was post-CT AKI by using Acute Kidney Injury Network SCr criteria; the secondary endpoint was post-CT AKI by using traditional SCr criteria for contrast material-induced nephrotoxicity (CIN; SCr increase ≥0.5 mg/dL [44.20 μmol/L] or ≥25%). Multivariate subgroup threshold analysis was performed (SCr <1.5 [<132.60 μmol/L]; ≥1.5 to ≥2.0 mg/dL [≥132.60 to ≥176.80 μmol/L]) and adjusted for assigned propensity scores.


Intravenous low-osmolality iodinated contrast material had a significant effect on the development of post-CT AKI for patients with pre-CT SCr levels of 1.6 mg/dL (141.44 μmol/L) or greater (odds ratio, 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11, 1.89;P = .007). This effect strengthened as pre-CT SCr increased. Patients with stable SCr less than 1.5 mg/dL (132.60 μmol/L) were not at risk for developing CIN (P = .25, power > 95%). Both endpoints demonstrated similar results (eg, SCr ≥1.6 mg/dL [141.44 μmol/L] by using traditional CIN criteria: odds ratio, 1.64; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.28; P = .003). Post-CT AKI was prevalent in both the unenhanced and contrast-enhanced CT subgroups, and it increased with increases in pre-CT SCr. Many risk factors contributed to development of post-CT AKI, regardless of iodinated contrast material.


Intravenous low-osmolality iodinated contrast material is a nephrotoxic risk factor, but not in patients with a stable SCr level less than 1.5 mg/dL. Many factors other than contrast material can affect post-CT AKI rates.

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