The potential role of statins in contrast nephropathy

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Clinical Nephrology


Background: Administration of contrast agents may result in an acute reduction in renal function and occasionally end-stage renal disease. Risk factors for contrast-induced nephropathy (CN) are preexisting renal dysfunction, diabetes and reduced effective arterial volume. Hydration and use of nonionic contrast agents have been reported to ameliorate CN. Reactive oxygen species may have a role in the pathogenesis of CN. Statins decrease free oxygen radicals in animals. We retrospectively tested the hypothesis that administering statins prior to cardiac catheterization decreases the incidence of CN. Methods: A total of 1,002 patients were studied. Patients with a stable baseline serum creatinine (SCr) ≥ 1.5 mg/dl who had cardiac catheterization between July 1997 and June 2002, were included in the study. None of the patients were taking statins before admission. 250 patients were started on a statin before the procedure and 752 patients were not. The SCr was followed for 7 days after the procedure looking for an acute decrement in renal function, dialysis requirement and survival. Results: The baseline characteristics, SCr, GFR, amount of intravenous fluids and contrast were similar in both groups. The post cath SCr (2.26 vs 3.1 mg/dl, p = 0.001) was significantly better in the statin group. Length of stay (2.72 vs 3.32 days, p =0.01) and number of patients with acute renal failure (43 (17.2%) vs 168 (22.3%) patients, p = 0.028) were significantly lower in the statin group. Dialysis requirement within 7 days and 28-day survival were similar in both groups. Conclusion: Prophylactic administration of statins along with hydration may be associated with less CN induced by a nonionic, low-osmolality contrast. ©2004 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle.

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