Background: N-acetylcysteine, sodium bicarbonate, statins, and ascorbic acid have been studied for reducing contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN).
Purpose: To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of interventions to reduce CIN in adults receiving contrast media.
Data Sources: 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.
Study Selection: 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.
Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality.
Data Synthesis: 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.
Limitation: Too few studies were done in patients receiving IV contrast media.
Conclusion: 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.