Impact of creatinine screening on contrast-induced nephropathy following computerized tomography for stroke

Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Jul;45:420-425. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2020.09.044. Epub 2020 Sep 20.


Objective: This study sought to evaluate rates of acute kidney injury in patients undergoing contrast-enhanced computerized tomography for acute stroke in the emergency department (ED) before and after the cessation of creatinine screening.

Methods: This retrospective study compared ED patients receiving contrast-enhanced imaging for suspected acute stroke with and without protocolized creatinine screening. The primary outcome was CIN, defined as an increase in serum creatinine of 0.3 mg/dl within 48 hours or 50% above baseline within 7 days after contrast administration. Secondary outcomes consisted of CIN based on other definitions, renal impairment greater than 30 days from contrast administration, hemodialysis, and mortality. Outcomes were compared using difference of proportions and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: This study included 382 subjects, with 186 and 196 in the screening and post-screening cohorts, respectively. No significant differences were observed for CIN (7.0% vs 7.1%, difference 0.1% [95% CI -5.6-5.1%], OR 1.02 [95% CI 0.47-2.24]), renal impairment greater than 30 days post-contrast (8.4% vs 7.5%, OR 0.88 [0.38-2.07]), or mortality (index visit: 4.8% vs 2.6%, OR 0.51 [0.17-1.57], 90-day follow-up: 6.7% vs 4.0%, OR 0.58 [0.22-1.53]). No patients from either group required hemodialysis.

Conclusions: The elimination of creatinine screening prior to obtaining contrast-enhanced computerized tomography in patients with suspected acute stroke did not adversely affect rates of CIN, hemodialysis, or mortality at a comprehensive stroke center.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Computerized tomography; Contrast material; Stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology
  • Aged
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Creatinine / blood*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / adverse effects*


  • Contrast Media
  • Creatinine