Friday, May 13, 2011

Women at Higher Risk of Kidney Damage After Heart Imaging Test

Women at Higher Risk of Kidney Damage After Heart Imaging Test
By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 12 May 2011

Women are at higher risk of developing kidney damage after undergoing a coronary angiogram, according to new findings.

Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit, MI, USA) revealed that women are 60% more likely than men to develop radiocontrast-induced nephropathy (RCIN), an adverse side effect that causes kidney dysfunction within 24 to 72 hours after patients are administered an iodine contrast dye during the common heart-imaging test.

This is believed to be the first study in which researchers assessed whether gender was a factor in patients developing RCIN after undergoing a coronary angiogram. RCIN is the third-leading cause of hospital-acquired kidney damage in the United States, after surgery and hypertension. The study’s findings were presented April 27, 2011, at the US National Kidney Foundation’s Spring Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Whereas researchers noted that additional study is needed to explain the gender risk, they hypothesized that a woman’s size may be a factor, according to Javier Neyra, MD, an internal medicine resident at Henry Ford and the study’s lead investigator. “Because men and women patients receive the same amount of dye during a coronary angiogram, it’s possible the amount is just too much for a woman’s body to handle given her smaller size,” Dr. Neyra stated. “Perhaps a woman’s height and weight ought to be factored into the dosage.”

According to Dr. Neyra, the contrast dye may cause the kidney’s blood vessels to narrow, thus causing damage to the organ. He noted that women with a history of heart disease should consult with their physician about undergoing heart-imaging tests using contrast dyes. Contrast dye is used to improve the visibility of internal body structures during an imaging test. In a coronary angiogram, the dye enhances images of the heart’s blood vessels and chambers.

In the Henry Ford study, researchers followed 1,211 patients who received a coronary angiogram from January 2008 to December 2009. Nearly 20% of women developed RCIN compared to 13.6% of men. Dr. Neyra reported that other contributing factors in the gender risk could be age, hormonal levels, and other chronic conditions. “We just don’t know without further study,” he explained.


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