Contrast Medium Use

Charles Davidson*, Fulvio Stacul, Peter A. McCullough, James Tumlin, Andy Adam, Norbert Lameire, Christoph R. Becker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Various properties of iodinated contrast media (osmolality, ionic versus nonionic, and viscosity) may contribute to contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). Therefore, the choice of contrast medium affects the risk for CIN. There is good evidence that low-osmolar contrast media are less nephrotoxic than high-osmolar contrast media in patients at increased risk for CIN who receive intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Current evidence suggests that nonionic isosmolar contrast presents the lowest risk for CIN in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), particularly in those patients with diabetes mellitus. Intra-arterial administration of contrast media may be associated with a greater risk for CIN above that observed with intravenous administration. The use of gadolinium or CO2 as alternative contrast media to avoid the risk of nephrotoxicity cannot be substantiated by clinical trials and therefore cannot be recommended. Most studies show that, within a class, higher volumes (>100 mL) of iodinated contrast medium are associated with a higher risk for CIN. However, in patients at high risk, such as those with CKD and diabetes, even small volumes of contrast medium can have adverse effects on renal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-58
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Sep 18 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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