Post-Contrast Acute Kidney Injury and Intravenous Prophylactic Hydration: An Update

Estelle Claire Nijssen*, Roger Rennenberg, Patty Nelemans, Vincent van Ommen, Joachim E. Wildberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background Despite tremendous improvement in molecular properties over the last century, intravascular injection of iodinated contrast material may still have systemic and hemodynamic consequences. Patients with pre-existing renal insufficiency may be at risk for acute kidney injury, which may be associated with an increased risk of the need for dialysis and mortality in the long term. Many questions as to the physiological pathways, optimal definition, and incidence of contrast-induced acute kidney injury remain open. These uncertainties are reflected in the changing landscape of this field in terms of nomenclature, research, and clinical practice.

Methods Clinical practice guidelines for the prevention of post-contrast acute kidney injury all recommend giving prophylaxis in the form of intravenous hydration to high-risk patients. Solid evidence for this strategy is lacking. This article gives an overview of the changing landscape of post-contrast acute kidney injury and prophylactic intravenous hydration, with the aim of supporting informed decision-making in clinical practice.

Results Recent data have caused a shift in guideline recommendations: 90 % of patients formerly considered high-risk for contrast-induced acute kidney injury no longer qualify for prophylaxis. The remaining high-risk patients, with severe chronic kidney disease, represent a vulnerable population for whom intravenous hydration may provide some benefits but also carries risk.

Conclusion Intravenous hydration may benefit 'new' high-risk patients. However, it also confers risk. A dual approach to screening patients will help avoid this risk in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalRöFo-Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der Röntgenstrahlen und der Bildgebenden Verfahren
Issue number02
Early online date16 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • contrast agents
  • acute kidney injury
  • preventive measures
  • clinical practice guideline
  • RISK


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