Clinical Decision Support to Reduce Contrast-Induced Kidney Injury During Cardiac Catheterization: Design of a Randomized Stepped-Wedge Trial

Can J Cardiol. 2019 Sep;35(9):1124-1133. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2019.06.002. Epub 2019 Jun 7.


Background: Contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is a common and serious complication of invasive cardiac procedures. Quality improvement programs have been associated with a lower incidence of CI-AKI over time, but there is a lack of high-quality evidence on clinical decision support for prevention of CI-AKI and its impact on processes of care and clinical outcomes.

Methods: The Contrast-Reducing Injury Sustained by Kidneys (Contrast RISK) study will implement an evidence-based multifaceted intervention designed to reduce the incidence of CI-AKI, encompassing automated identification of patients at increased risk for CI-AKI, point-of-care information on safe contrast volume targets, personalized recommendations for hemodynamic optimization of intravenous fluids, and follow-up information for patients at risk. Implementation will use cardiologist academic detailing, computerized clinical decision support, and audit and feedback. All 31 physicians practicing in all 3 of Alberta's cardiac catheterization laboratories will participate using a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge design. The order in which they are introduced to this intervention will be randomized within 8 clusters. The primary outcome is CI-AKI incidence, with secondary outcomes of CI-AKI avoidance strategies and downstream adverse major kidney and cardiovascular events. An economic evaluation will accompany the main trial.

Conclusions: The Contrast RISK study leverages information technology systems to identify patient risk combined with evidence-based protocols, audit, and feedback to reduce CI-AKI in cardiac catheterization laboratories across Alberta. If effective, this intervention can be broadly scaled and sustained to improve the safety of cardiac catheterization.

Trial registration: NCT03453996.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Angiography / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Angiography / methods
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors


  • Contrast Media

Associated data


Grant support