Background: The aim of the study was to assess (i) the rate of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN), (ii) the amount and time course of renal dysfunction, (iii) the identification of risk factors and calculation of a risk score for CIN in acute stroke patients after CT perfusion (CTP) and CT angiography (CTA).
Methods: 162 patients were investigated,who had received 140 ml of non-ionic low osmolar contrast agent (300 mg iodine per ml, Ultravist 300, Schering AG) for CTA and CTP. We assessed electrolytes, creatinine, and creatinine clearance before and up to 7 days after administration of contrast agent. In addition, the risk factors for CIN were recorded and a previously validated risk score for CIN was calculated. We also assessed the amount of crystalloid fluid substitution and newly prescribed drugs. CIN was defined as an increase of the serum creatinine-level of > 0.5 mg/dl or > 25% above baseline within 48 hours after contrast agent administration.
Results: 154 patients (94 %) received crystalloid fluid substitution (mean 6.1 l) within 48 h after contrast agent administration. During follow-up the creatinine values and the creatinine clearance remained stable while sodium and potassium increased significantly (p < 0.0001) after contrast agent administration. In patients with a pathological creatinine value on admission (n = 40), the creatinine clearance did not decrease significantly (p = 0.18). The risk score for developing a CIN was low in the majority of stroke patients. A manifest CIN occurred in 3 patients (2 %). No patient had to be hemodialysed.
Conclusion: CIN is a rare complication in acute stroke patients examined by multimodal contrast-based CT due to the low prevalence of risk factors associated with CIN. In conjunction with appropriate fluid substitution, low osmolar nonionic contrast agents seem to be safe in clinical routine.