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Original research
Risk of acute kidney injury associated with neuroimaging obtained during triage and treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke symptoms


Background Combining non-contrast CT (NCCT), CT angiography (CTA), and CT perfusion (CTP) imaging (referred to as a CT stroke study, CTSS) provides a rapid evaluation of the cerebrovascular axis during acute ischemic stroke. Iodinated contrast-enhanced CT imaging is not without risk, which includes renal injury. If a patient's CTSS identifies vascular pathology, digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is often performed within 24–48 h. Such patients may receive multiple administrations of iodinated contrast material over a short time period.

Objective We aimed to evaluate the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients who underwent a CTSS and DSA for evaluation of acute ischemic symptoms or for stroke intervention within a 48 h period between August 2012 and December 2014.

Methods We identified 84 patients for inclusion in the analysis. Patients fell into one of two cohorts: AKI, defined as a rise in the serum creatinine level of ≥0.5 mg/dL from baseline, or non-AKI. Clinical parameters included pre- and post-imaging serum creatinine level, time between CTSS and DSA, and type of angiographic procedure (diagnostic vs intervention) performed.

Results Four patients (4.7%) experienced AKI, one of whom had baseline renal dysfunction (defined as baseline serum creatinine level ≥1.5 mg/dL). The mean difference between baseline and peak creatinine values was found to be significantly greater in patients with AKI than in non-AKI patients (1.65 vs −0.09, respectively; p=0.0008).

Conclusions This study provides preliminary evidence of the safety and feasibility of obtaining CTSS with additional DSA imaging, whether for diagnosis or intervention, to identify possible acute ischemic stroke.

  • Stroke
  • CT
  • CT Angiography
  • CT perfusion
  • Angiography

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