SCAI issues recommendations to prevent kidney damage after imaging procedures

(DECEMBER 11, 2006WASHINGTON, DC) -- The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has released recommendations for the prevention of contrast induced nephropathy (CIN) potentially fatal kidney damage that can occur when a special dye is injected during certain cardiovascular procedures. The consensus document, the first to be written on this topic, appears in the January 2007 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

Contrast dye is essential for many diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures because it enables doctors to visualize blocked blood vessels, said Dr. Marc J. Schweiger, lead author of the SCAI consensus document. "As interventionalists, we work with contrast media every day, so it is crucial that we know how to avoid CIN, with its associated morbidity and mortality."

Dr. Schweiger stressed that CIN is relatively rare; the condition is estimated to occur in 13 percent of individuals who undergo interventional cardiovascular procedures in which contrast dyes are used. Patients at greatest risk are the elderly, and those with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or advanced heart failure. "Nevertheless, we feel that 3 percent is too high a rate, and a lot can be done to lower the risk," Dr. Schweiger said.

In developing the consensus statement, members of SCAIs Catheterization Laboratory Performance Standards Committee (chaired by Dr. Charles E. Chambers) reviewed all of the published literature addressing ways to minimize the risk of CIN. Among the Societys key recommendations are the following:

  1. Do the right tests to properly assess a patients kidney function. -- In most cases, physicians can get an accurate measure of how well a patients kidneys are working by estimating the glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR. This test is superior to the often-used serum creatinine test.

Contact: Wayne Powell
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

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