Minimal risk of contrast-induced kidney injury in a randomly selected cohort with mildly reduced GFR

Eur Radiol. 2021 May;31(5):3248-3257. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07429-w. Epub 2020 Nov 6.


Objectives: Previous large studies of contrast-induced or post-contrast acute kidney injury (CI-AKI/PC-AKI) have been observational, and mostly retrospective, often with patients undergoing non-enhanced CT as controls. This carries risk of inclusion bias that makes the true incidence of PC-AKI hard to interpret. Our aim was to determine the incidence of PC-AKI in a large, randomly selected cohort, comparing the serum creatinine (Scr) changes after contrast medium exposure with the normal intraindividual fluctuation in Scr.

Methods: In this prospective study of 1009 participants (age 50-65 years, 48% females) in the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS), with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥ 50 mL/min, all received standard dose intravenous iohexol at coronary CT angiography (CCTA). Two separate pre-CCTA Scr samples and a follow-up sample 2-4 days post-CCTA were obtained. Change in Scr was statistically analyzed and stratification was used in the search of possible risk factors.

Results: Median increase of Scr post-CCTA was 0-2 μmol/L. PC-AKI was observed in 12/1009 individuals (1.2%) according to the old ESUR criteria (> 25% or > 44 μmol/L Scr increase) and 2 individuals (0.2%) when using the updated ESUR criteria (≥ 50% or ≥ 27 μmol/L Scr increase). Possible risk factors (e.g., diabetes, age, eGFR, NSAID use) did not show increased risk of developing PC-AKI. The mean effect of contrast media on Scr did not exceed the intraindividual Scr fluctuation.

Conclusions: Iohexol administration to a randomly selected cohort with mildly reduced eGFR is safe, and PC-AKI is very rare, occurring in only 0.2% when applying the updated ESUR criteria.

Key points: • Iohexol administration to a randomly selected cohort, 50-65 years old with mildly reduced eGFR, is safe and PC-AKI is very rare. • Applying the updated ESUR PC-AKI criteria resulted in fewer cases, 0.2% compared to 1.2% using the old ESUR criteria in this cohort with predominantly mild reduction of renal function. • The mean effect of CM on Scr did not exceed the intraindividual background fluctuation of Scr, regardless of potential risk factors, such as diabetes or NSAID use in our cohort of 1009 individuals.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Computed tomography angiography; Drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; Iohexol; Prospective studies.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / epidemiology
  • Aged
  • Contrast Media* / adverse effects
  • Creatinine
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden


  • Contrast Media
  • Creatinine