Contrast-induced acute kidney injury is a common iatrogenic complication associated with increased health resource utilization and adverse outcomes, including short- and long-term mortality and accelerated progression of preexisting renal insufficiency. The incidence of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) has been reported to range from 0% to 24%. This wide range reported by the studies is due to differences in definition, background risk factors, type and dose of contrast medium used, and the frequency of other coexisting potential causes of acute renal failure. CIN is usually transient, with serum creatinine levels peaking at 2-3 days after administration of contrast medium and returning to baseline within 7-10 days after administration. Multiple studies have been conducted using variety of therapeutic interventions in an attempt to prevent CIN. Of these, careful selection of patients, using newer radiocontrast agents, maintenance of hydration status, and avoiding nephrotoxic agents pre- and post-procedure are the most effective interventions to protect against CIN. This review focuses on the basic concepts of CIN and summarizes our recent understanding of its pathophysiology. In addition, this article provides practical recommendations with respect to CIN prevention and management.