Contrast-induced nephropathy, also known as contrast-induced acute kidney injury, is associated with rapid and often irreversible decline in kidney function following the administration of iodinated contrast agents. Contrast-induced nephropathy is the third leading cause of acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients, and substantially increases mortality, morbidity, and length of hospitalization. Contrast-induced nephropathy follows a predictable time of onset and is potentially preventable. It has been the subject of numerous studies addressing characteristics of the populations at risk and prophylactic strategies. This evidence-based review summarizes recent literature and provides a nephrologists' perspective on contrast-induced nephropathy, focusing on: the pathophysiology of contrast-induced nephropathy; identification of populations at risk; correlation between contrast-induced nephropathy and the type of contrast agent used; and finally, measures to prevent contrast-induced nephropathy, including intravenous fluids, sodium bicarbonate, N-acetylcysteine, and hemofiltration/hemodialysis.
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