Study Shows Long-Term Health Problems From Contrast-Induced Medical Imaging Procedures
According to a study to be published in a future issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology, kidney injuries can arise following certain medical imaging procedures, which can increase a patient’s risk of having a stroke or heart attack. The results of the study indicate that minor and reversible kidney damage from common clinical procedures is a serious health threat.
Medical imaging often uses contrast agents, such as iodine and barium, to enhance structures or fluids within the body. Exposure to contrast agents can injure the kidneys and recent research suggests that such contrast-induced kidney damage may actually be more serious.
The researchers studied 294 patients with kidney disease who were exposed to contrast agents during cardiac angiography. After one year, the researchers found that 31% of the patients experienced negative health effects and 13% of the patients experienced a major event, such as stroke, heart attack, end-stage renal disease or death. Individuals who developed contrast-induced kidney injuries had twice as many long-term negative health effects compared to patients whose kidneys were not damaged.