CT angiography, senior investigator Dr. Joshua N. Goldstein told is a rapid, widely available method of examining the cerebral vasculature, but has traditionally been thought to cause contrast-induced nephropathy in some patients. We attempted to quantitate this risk.

To study the associated risk of CT angiography, Dr. Goldstein of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and team retrospectively examined data on 537 patients who were treated at that institution over a 5-year period. All had minimum two creatinine measurements.

Of all, 65% (n=385) of the patients underwent CT angiography. In angiography group, the incidence of acute nephropathy was 6% and 10% in those who did not undergo the procedure.

In addition, nephropathy risk was 14% in patients who received no contrast, 5% in those who had one contrast study and 6% in those who had more than one contrast study.

Contrast or CT angiography use was not predictive of nephropathy.

It turned out that renal injury is relatively common in patients with ICH, Dr. Goldstein concluded, and it is not at all clear that contrast use increases this risk. It appears that CT angiography is safer in this population than previously thought.