Clinical Utility of a Biomarker to Detect Contrast-Induced Acute Kidney Injury during Percutaneous Cardiovascular Procedures

Cardiorenal Med. 2022;12(1):11-19. doi: 10.1159/000520820. Epub 2022 Jan 14.


Introduction: Contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is a major clinical complication of percutaneous cardiovascular procedures requiring iodinated contrast. Despite its relative frequency, practicing physicians are unlikely to identify or treat this condition.

Methods: In a 2-round clinical trial of simulated patients, we examined the clinical utility of a urine-based assay that measures liver-type fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), a novel marker of CI-AKI. We sought to determine if interventional cardiologists' ability to diagnose and treat potential CI-AKI improved using the biomarker assay for 3 different patient types: pre-procedure, peri-procedure, and post-procedure patients.

Results: 154 participating cardiologists were randomly divided into either control or intervention. At baseline, we found no difference in the demographics or how they identified and treated potential complications of AKI, with both groups providing less than half the necessary care to their patients (46.4% for control vs. 47.6% for intervention, p = 0.250). The introduction of L-FABP into patient care resulted in a statistically significant improvement of 4.6% (p = 0.001). Compared to controls, physicians receiving L-FABP results were 2.9 times more likely to correctly identify their patients' risk for AKI (95% CI 2.1-4.0) and were more than twice as likely to treat for AKI by providing volume expansion and withholding nephrotoxic medications. We found the greatest clinical utility in the pre-procedure and peri-procedure settings but limited value in the post-procedure setting.

Conclusion: This study suggests L-FABP as a clinical marker for assessing the risk of potential CI-AKI, has clinical utility, and can lead to more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: Cardiac catheterization; Contrast-induced nephropathy; Coronary intervention; Quality of care; Vascular intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / diagnosis
  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiologists
  • Contrast Media* / adverse effects
  • Humans


  • Biomarkers
  • Contrast Media