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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Jun;204(6):1174-81. doi: 10.2214/AJR.14.14259. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Contrast media controversies in 2015: imaging patients with renal impairment or risk of contrast reaction.

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1 Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, B2-A209P, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5030.



The incidence and significance of complications related to intravascular contrast material administration have become increasingly controversial. This review will highlight current thinking regarding the imaging of patients with renal impairment and those at risk for an allergiclike contrast reaction.


The risk of contrast-induced acute kidney injury remains uncertain for patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) less than 45 mL/min/1.73 m(2), but if there is a risk, it is greatest in those with estimated GFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m(2). In this population, low-risk gadolinium-based contrast agents appear to have a large safety margin. Corticosteroid prophylaxis remains the standard of care in the United States for patients identified to be at high risk of a contrast reaction, but it has an incomplete mitigating effect on contrast reaction rates and the number needed to treat is large.


contrast; contrast media; contrast-induced acute kidney injury (AKI); contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN); safety

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