Contrast-associated nephropathy

Vikas R. Soma, Erdal Cavusuglu, Raghuraman Vidhun, William H. Frishman, Samin K. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Contrast-associated nephropathy (CaN) has become a major cause of iatrogenic acute renal failure, especially with the increasing use of radiographic contrast media in both diagnostic and interventional procedures. CaN is the third most common cause of iatrogenic acute renal failure, and is associated with increased morbidity and in-hospital mortality. CaN typically presents as an acute rise in serum creatinine levels, usually within 48 hours after exposure to contrast media. Renal medullary ischemia secondary to contrast-induced vasoconstriction is now believed to be the most likely cause of CaN, although direct renal tubular cytotoxicity does appear to play a role. The occurrence of CaN is directly related to the number of coexisting clinical risk factors. Among the many risk factors, preexisting renal impairment, the presence of diabetes mellitus and the volume of the contrast agent administered are the most important. The most effective means of reducing the incidence of CaN is through prevention, by first identifying the risk factors and then attempting to Correct for them before the administration of contrast material. Although the earliest and most well-tested preventive measure, namely intravenous hydration, continues to be the most effective way to prevent CaN, recent studies have provided many new preventive modalities. The growing use of these new agents, such as acetylcysteine, endothelin blockers, and most recently fenoldopam, has increased the options available for the prevention of CaN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002


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