Prospective randomized study of N-acetylcysteine, fenoldopam, and saline for prevention of radiocontrast-induced nephropathy


Department of Cardiology, Aurora-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine


The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), fenoldopam, and saline in preventing radiocontrast-induced nephropathy (RCIN) in high-risk patients undergoing cardiovascular procedures. We prospectively enrolled 123 patients who were scheduled for cardiovascular procedures and had a baseline creatinine > 1.6 mg/dl or creatinine clearance of < 60 ml/min. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either saline (0.45% normal saline at 1 cc/kg) for 12 hr before and 12 hr after the procedure, or fenoldopam (0.1 microg/kg/min) plus saline for 4 hr prior and 4 hr after the procedure, or NAC orally (600 mg) plus saline every 12 hr for 24 hr prior and 24 hr after the procedure. All the patients received low-osmolality nonionic contrast. RCIN was defined as an increase in creatinine level > 0.5 mg/dl after 48 hr. The incidence of RCIN was 17.7% in the NAC group, 15.3% in the saline group, and 15.7% in the fenoldopam group (P = 0.919). Of the 20 patients who developed RCIN, 2 required dialysis. Serum creatinine decreased after 48 hr (vs. baseline) in 38% patients in the NAC group, 18% in the fenoldopam group, and 15% in the saline group. In patients with chronic renal insufficiency, NAC or fenoldopam offered no additional benefit over hydration with saline in preventing RCIN.

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