Open Access Research article

Incidence and outcome of contrast-associated acute kidney injury in a mixed medical-surgical ICU population: a retrospective study

Christophe Clec’h12*, Dominique Razafimandimby1, Mehdi Laouisset1, Frank Chemouni1 and Yves Cohen1

Author Affiliations

1 Medical-surgical Intensive Care Unit, Service de réanimation, Hôpital Avicenne, Avicenne teaching Hospital, 125 Route de Stalingrad, Bobigny Cedex 93009, France

2 INSERM U823, Clinical epidemiology of critically ill patients and airway cancer, Albert Bonniot Institute, Rond-Point de la Chantourne, BP 217, Grenoble 38043, France

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BMC Nephrology 2013, 14:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-31

Published: 4 February 2013



Contrast-enhanced radiographic examinations carry the risk of contrast-associated acute kidney injury (CA-AKI). While CA-AKI is a well-known complication outside the intensive care unit (ICU) setting, data on CA-AKI in ICU patients are scarce. Our aim was to assess the incidence and short-term outcome of CA-AKI in a mixed medical-surgical ICU population.


We conducted a single-center retrospective analysis between September 2006 and December 2008 on adult patients who underwent a contrast-enhanced computed tomography for urgent diagnostic purposes. CA-AKI was defined as either a relative increment in serum creatinine of ≥ 25% or an absolute increment in serum creatinine of ≥ 0.3 mg/dL within 48 hrs after contrast administration. ICU mortality rates of patients with and without CA-AKI were compared in univariate and multivariate analyses. The need for renal replacement therapy (RRT) was also recorded.


CA-AKI occurred in 24/143 (16.8%) patients. Coexisting risk factors for kidney injury, such as sepsis, nephrotoxic drugs and hemodynamic failure were commonly observed in patients who developed CA-AKI. ICU mortality was significantly higher in patients with than in those without CA-AKI (50% vs 21%, p = 0.004). In multivariate logistic regression, CA-AKI remained associated with ICU mortality (odds ratio: 3.48, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-11.46, p = 0.04). RRT was required in 7 (29.2%) patients with CA-AKI.


In our cohort, CA-AKI was a frequent complication. It was associated with a poor short-term outcome and seemed to occur mainly when multiple risk factors for kidney injury were present. Administration of ICM should be considered as a potential high-risk procedure and not as a routine innocuous practice in ICU patients.

Acute kidney injury; Contrast-associated acute kidney injury; Intensive car unit; Mortality; Outcome