Kidney damage from medical imaging procedures can cause long-term health problems

Jun 25, 2009

Kidney injury that can arise after undergoing certain medical imaging procedures increases a patient's risk of having a stroke or heart attack over the next year or two, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The findings indicate that seemingly minor and reversible kidney damage from these common clinical procedures is a serious health threat.

Medical imaging often uses contrast agents, substances such as and barium that enhance the contrast of structures or fluids within the body. For example, contrast agents may be used during cardiac angiography and computed tomography procedures to visualize blood vessels and changes in tissues. Exposure to contrast agents can injure the kidneys, but patients are often told that this is only a temporary side effect. Recent research has suggested that such contrast-induced kidney damage may actually be more serious, although no thorough studies have looked into the hypothesis.

To investigate the issue, Richard Solomon, MD (University of Vermont), and his colleagues studied 294 patients with who were exposed to contrast agents during cardiac angiography. Patients in the CARE (Cardiac Angiography in REnally Impaired Patients) trial were randomly divided to receive one of two contrast agents: iopamidol or iodixanol. After following patients for at least one year, the researchers found that 92 (31%) of the patients experienced negative health effects. Thirty-eight (13%) of the patients experienced a major event, such as death, stroke, , or end-stage renal disease. Individuals who developed contrast-induced kidney injuries had twice as many long-term negative health effects compared with patients whose kidneys were not damaged.

In the absence of contrast-induced kidney injury, there was no difference in the incidence of long-term negative health effects between patients taking iopamidol or iodixanol. However, the investigators found that patients taking iopamidol had reduced incidences of both kidney damage and long-term negative effects. These parallel decreased incidences support the theory that contrast-induced kidney injury causes long-term negative effects.

The CARE trial findings should prompt investigators to design additional studies on the long-term negative health effects of contrast-induced kidney damage.

More information: The article, entitled "The Relationship of Contrast-Induced Nephropathy to Long-Term Adverse Events: Is it Cause and Effect?" will appear online at cjasn.asnjournals.org/ on June 25, 2009, doi 10.2215/CJN.00550109.

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

Explore further: West Africa's Ebola outbreak prompts changes in I.Coast cuisine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Low blood sugar: A killer for kidney disease patients?

May 07, 2009

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, poses a serious health threat for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN ...

FDA wants MRI contrast agent warning

May 23, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants a warning printed on the labels of all gadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents.

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

14 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

14 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

Apr 19, 2014

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NeilFarbstein
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2009
Are there any nontoxic cobntrast agents? ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.