OBJECTIVE. Most studies of contrast-induced nephropathy lack controls to distinguish it from nephropathy from other causes. We assessed the frequency and magnitude of serum creatinine changes in patients not receiving iodinated contrast material to compare with creatinine changes in publications regarding contrast nephropathy. MATERIALS AND METHODS. From the electronic medical records of an academic medical center, adults with creatinine determinations on five consecutive days who had not received contrast material during the previous 10 days were identified. The first creatinine level was compared with those on subsequent days. We calculated the frequency with which these levels exceeded thresholds used to identify contrast nephropathy in previous publications. RESULTS. Among 32,161 patients, more than half showed a change of at least 25% and more than two fifths, a change of at least 0.4 mg/dL. Among patients with baseline creatinine levels of 0.6-1.2 mg/dL, increases of at least 25%, 33%, and 50% occurred in 27%, 19%, and 11% of patients, respectively. Increases of 0.4, 0.6, and 1.0 mg/dL occurred in 13%, 7%, and 3% of patients. Among patients with baseline creatinine levels greater than 2.0 mg/dL, increases of at least 25%, 33%, and 50% occurred in 16%, 12%, and 7%. Increases of 0.4, 0.6, and 1.0 mg/ dL occurred in 33%, 26%, and 18%. These increases were not different from the incidences of contrast nephropathy previously published. CONCLUSION. The creatinine level increases in patients who are not receiving contrast material as often as it does in published series of patients who are receiving contrast material. The role of contrast material in nephropathy may have been overestimated.
- Contrast material
- Iodinated contrast material
- Renal failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging