We investigated the efficacy of short-term high-dose atorvastatin in decreasing the risk of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) subjected to coronary angiography and/or angioplasty. CIN occurs in up to 15% of patients with pre-existing CKD and affects clinical outcome. The protective effect of statin therapy against CIN is still controversial. A prospective, single-center study of 304 patients with baseline estimated creatinine clearance <60 ml/min were randomized to receive atorvastatin 80 mg/day or placebo for 48 hours before and 48 hours after contrast medium administration. All patients received intravenous saline hydration and oral N-acetylcysteine 1,200 mg 2 times/day. Iso-osmolar contrast medium was used. CIN was defined as an absolute increase of serum creatinine > or = 0.5 mg/dl within 5 days after the procedure. CIN occurred in 31 patients (10%), 16 (11%) in the placebo group and 15 (10%) in the atorvastatin group (p = 0.86). Mean increase in creatinine was not significantly different in the 2 groups (0.59 + or - 0.17 in placebo group vs 0.72 + or - 0.26 mg/dl in atorvastatin group, p = 0.31). Persistent kidney injury, defined as 1-month increase from baseline creatinine value > or = 25%, was observed in 30% in the placebo group and in 31% in the atorvastatin group (p = 0.58). In conclusion, a short-term administration of high doses of atorvastatin before and after contrast exposure, in addition to standard intravenous hydration and oral N-acetylcysteine, does not decrease CIN occurrence in patients with pre-existing CKD.
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