Objective: The aim of this meta-analysis was to explore the efficacy of sodium bicarbonate in preventing contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN).
Methods: We searched PubMed, Medline and the Cochrane Library from 1 January 2004 to 1 August 2014. The effect estimate was expressed as a pooled OR with 95% CI, using the fixed-effects or random-effects model.
Results: 20 randomised controlled trials (n=4280) were identified. Hydration with sodium bicarbonate was associated with a significant decrease in CIN among patients with pre-existing renal insufficiency (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.96; p=0.027). However, moderate heterogeneity was noted across trials (I(2)=48%; p=0.008). Subgroup analyses indicated a better effect of sodium bicarbonate in studies using low-osmolar (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.93; p=0.024) compared with iso-osmolar contrast agents (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.34; p=0.351). The odds of CIN with sodium bicarbonate were lower in studies including only patients undergoing emergency (OR 0.16, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.51; p=0.002) compared with elective procedures (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.06; p=0.105). Sodium bicarbonate was more beneficial in patients given a bolus injection before procedures (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.54; p=0.004) compared with continuous infusion (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.05; p=0.091). Sodium bicarbonate plus N-acetylcysteine (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.79; p=0.024) was better than sodium bicarbonate alone (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.03; p=0.071). The effect of sodium bicarbonate was considered greater in papers published before (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.41; p=0.000) compared with after 2008 (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.16; p=0.302). However, no significant differences were found in mortality (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.36 to 1.32; p=0.263) or requirement for dialysis (OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.52 to 2.25; p=0.841).
Conclusions: Sodium bicarbonate is effective in preventing CIN among patients with pre-existing renal insufficiency. However, it fails to lower the risks of dialysis and mortality and therefore cannot improve the clinical prognosis of patients with CIN.
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