The role of N--acetylcysteine in the prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy in patients undergoing peripheral angiography: a structured review and meta-analysis

Angiology. 2013 Nov;64(8):576-82. doi: 10.1177/0003319712467223. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is a leading cause of hospital-acquired acute kidney injury (AKI). N-acetylcysteine (NAC) was proposed as an effective preventative measure. As data in relation to the use of NAC for the prevention of CIN in peripheral angiography are lacking, a systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken. A comprehensive search for the published and unpublished data was performed. Data were extracted from the eligible studies. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) were used to calculate the effect of NAC on CIN incidence. Pooled effect size estimates were used to calculate the effect of NAC on serum creatinine (SCr) postcontrast. Our results showed that NAC did not reduce CIN incidence (pooled OR 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.38-2.88; P = .92) or the mean SCr levels (pooled weighted mean difference, 4.38; 95% CI 10.4-1.65; P = .15). In conclusion, insufficient evidence exists to recommend NAC for the prevention of CIN in patients undergoing peripheral angiography.

Keywords: N-acetylcysteine; angiography; contrast-induced nephropathy; peripheral angiography; renal impairment.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine
  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Angiography*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Kidney Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Creatinine
  • Acetylcysteine