Nephrotoxicity of iso-osmolar iodixanol compared with nonionic low-osmolar contrast media: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Radiology. 2009 Jan;250(1):68-86. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2501080833.


Purpose: To compare the nephrotoxicity of iso-osmolar iodixanol with that of nonionic low-osmolar contrast media (CM) (LOCM) in randomized clinical trials.

Materials and methods: This meta-analysis was conducted with a systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, Web of Science, ISI Web of Knowledge, Current Contents Medizin, Cochrane Library (until August 2007), trial registers, conference proceedings, and reference lists to identify studies and with requests from all manufacturers of CM for unidentified studies. Randomized controlled trials assessing serum creatinine levels before and after intravascular application of iodixanol or LOCM were included. The primary outcome measures were the incidence of contrast medium-induced nephropathy (CIN) and change in serum creatinine levels.

Results: Twenty-five trials were included. Iodixanol did not significantly reduce the risk of CIN (relative risk [RR], 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.61, 1.04; weighted mean difference in serum creatinine increase, 0.01 mg/dL [0.88 mumol/L]; 95% CI: -0.01, 0.03). There was no significant risk reduction after intravenous administration of the CM (RR, 1.08; 95% CI: 0.62, 1.89); subgroup with preexisting renal insufficiency (RR, 1.07; 95% CI: 0.56, 2.02) or after intraarterial administration (RR, 0.68; 95% CI: 0.46, 1.01); subgroup with preexisting renal insufficiency (RR, 0.59; 95% CI: 0.33, 1.07). However, in patients with intraarterial administration and renal insufficiency, the risk of CIN was greater for iohexol than for iodixanol (RR, 0.38; 95% CI: 0.21, 0.68), whereas there was no difference between iodixanol and the other (noniohexol) LOCM (RR, 0.95; 95% CI: 0.50, 1.78).

Conclusion: Iodixanol is not associated with a significantly reduced risk of CIN compared with the LOCM pooled together. However, in patients with intraarterial administration and renal insufficiency, iodixanol is associated with a reduced risk of CIN compared with iohexol, whereas no significant difference between iodixanol and other LOCM could be found.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced*
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Contrast Media / toxicity*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Arterial
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iohexol / analogs & derivatives
  • Iohexol / toxicity
  • Iopamidol / analogs & derivatives
  • Iopamidol / toxicity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Triiodobenzoic Acids / toxicity*


  • Contrast Media
  • Triiodobenzoic Acids
  • iomeprol
  • iobitridol
  • Iohexol
  • iopromide
  • Creatinine
  • iodixanol
  • Iopamidol
  • ioversol