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Safety of Administering Intravenous CT Contrast Agents Repeatedly or Using Both CT and MRI Contrast Agents on the Same Day: An Animal Study.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate molecular and functional consequences of additional exposures to iodine- or gadolinium-based contrast agents within 24 hours from the initial intravenous administration of iodine-based contrast agents through an animal study.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-six Sprague-Dawley male rats were equally divided into eight groups: negative control, positive control (PC) with single-dose administration of CT contrast agent, and additional administration of either CT or MR contrast agents 2, 4, or 24 hours from initial CT contrast agent injection. A 12 µL/g of iodinated contrast agent or a 0.47 µL/g of gadolinium-based contrast agent were injected into the tail vein. Serum levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, cystatin C (Cys C), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured. mRNA and protein levels of kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) were evaluated.

RESULTS: Levels of serum creatinine (SCr) were significantly higher in repeated CT contrast agent injection groups than in PC (0.21 ± 0.02 mg/dL for PC; 0.40 ± 0.02, 0.34 ± 0.03, and 0.41 ± 0.10 mg/dL for 2-, 4-, and 24-hour interval groups, respectively; P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the average Cys C and MDA levels between PC and repeated CT contrast agent injection groups (Cys C, P = 0.256-0.362; MDA, P > 0.99). Additional doses of MR contrast agent did not make significant changes compared to PC in SCr ( P > 0.99), Cys C ( P = 0.262), and MDA ( P = 0.139-0.771) levels. mRNA and protein levels of KIM-1 and NGAL were not significantly different among additional CT or MR contrast agent groups ( P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: A sufficient time interval, probably more than 24 hours, between repeated contrast-enhanced CT examinations may be necessary to avoid deterioration in renal function. However, conducting contrast-enhanced MRI on the same day as contrast-enhanced CT may not induce clinically significant kidney injury.

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