N-acetylcysteine, sodium bicarbonate, statins, and ascorbic acid have been studied for reducing contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN).
To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of interventions to reduce CIN in adults receiving contrast media.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Scopus databases through June 2015. Risk of bias and overall strength of evidence (SOE) of studies were assessed.
Randomized, controlled trials of N-acetylcysteine, sodium bicarbonate, statins, or ascorbic acid that used intravenous (IV) or intra-arterial contrast media and defined CIN with enough data for meta-analysis.
Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality.
Low-dose N-acetylcysteine plus IV saline compared with IV saline (risk ratio [RR], 0.75 [95% CI, 0.63 to 0.89]; low SOE), N-acetylcysteine plus IV saline compared with IV saline in patients receiving low-osmolar contrast media (RR, 0.69 [CI, 0.58 to 0.84]; moderate SOE), and statins plus N-acetylcysteine plus IV saline versus N-acetylcysteine plus IV saline (RR, 0.52 [CI, 0.29 to 0.93]; low SOE) had clinically important and statistically significant benefits. The following 3 comparisons suggested a clinically important difference that was not statistically significant: sodium bicarbonate versus IV saline in patients receiving low-osmolar contrast media (RR, 0.65 [CI, 0.33 to 1.25]; low SOE), statins plus IV saline versus IV saline (RR, 0.68 [CI, 0.39 to 1.20]; low SOE), and ascorbic acid versus IV saline (RR, 0.72 [CI, 0.48 to 1.01]; low SOE). Strength of evidence was generally insufficient for comparisons of the need for renal replacement, cardiac events, and mortality.
Too few studies were done in patients receiving IV contrast media.
The greatest reduction in CIN was seen with N-acetylcysteine plus IV saline in patients receiving LOCM and with statins plus N-acetylcysteine plus IV saline.
Primary funding source
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.