The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has released recommendations for the prevention of contrast induced nephropathy (CIN) -- potentially fatal kidney damage that can occur when a special dye is injected during certain cardiovascular procedures. The consensus document, the first to be written on this topic, appears in the January 2007 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.
Contrast dye is essential for many diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures because it enables doctors to visualize blocked blood vessels, said Dr. Marc J. Schweiger, lead author of the SCAI consensus document. "As interventionalists, we work with contrast media every day, so it is crucial that we know how to avoid CIN, with its associated morbidity and mortality."
Dr. Schweiger stressed that CIN is relatively rare; the condition is estimated to occur in 1--3 percent of individuals who undergo interventional cardiovascular procedures in which contrast dyes are used. Patients at greatest risk are the elderly, and those with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or advanced heart failure. "Nevertheless, we feel that 3 percent is too high a rate, and a lot can be done to lower the risk," Dr. Schweiger said.
In developing the consensus statement, members of SCAI's Catheterization Laboratory Performance Standards Committee (chaired by Dr. Charles E. Chambers) reviewed all of the published literature addressing ways to minimize the risk of CIN. Among the Society's key recommendations are the following:
CIN is a rare complication and, in most cases, is preventable, Dr. Schweiger stressed. "We certainly do not want to discourage people from having a procedure they really need because of fears of a complication that is unlikely to occur. The benefits of undergoing most diagnostic and interventional procedures far outweigh any risks associated with the use of contrast dye in such procedures," he said. "In fact, contrast dyes have helped us make enormous progress in the treatment of patients with blocked arteries."
Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 3,700-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI was organized in 1976 under the guidance of Drs. F. Mason Sones and Melvin P. Judkins. The first SCAI Annual Scientific Sessions were held in Chicago in 1978.
The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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