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Angiology. 1997 Jul;48(7):609-13.

Incidence of atheroembolic renal failure after coronary angiography. A prospective study.

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Department of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA.


Atheroembolic renal failure (AERF) is often seen after vascular procedures in elderly atherosclerotic patients. To estimate the incidence of AERF after coronary angiography, all patients undergoing coronary angiography at the V.A. Medical Center, Dayton, were prospectively evaluated for AERF. Since, unlike contrast nephropathy, AERF develops about a week after the vascular procedure and persists or progresses over weeks and months, serum creatinine was measured just prior to and 3 weeks after coronary angiography. Peripheral signs of cholesterol emboli were also looked for at follow-up visits. Two hundred sixty-seven patients underwent coronary angiography over a fifteen-month period. Most of the patients were sixty years old or older. Mean serum creatinine in these patients prior to coronary angiography was 1.2 mg/dL. Mean serum creatinine after coronary angiography was unchanged (1.2 mg/dL). Only 7 patients had serum creatinine > 2 mg/dL prior to coronary angiography. Two patients died within a week of coronary angiography and 2 did not return for follow-up. Of the remaining 263 patients, 5 had a serum creatinine increase by 0.5 mg/dL or more at three weeks after coronary angiography. Three of 5 had a serum creatinine increase by 1.0 mg/dL or more. Two of these 3 patients eventually died of renal failure. None of these 5 patients had peripheral signs of cholesterol emboli. In selected patients, the incidence of AERF after coronary angiography appears to be very low (< 2%).

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