Contrast-induced nephropathy is a major adverse event that occurs during studies that require contrast medium. Almost 10% of all hospital-acquired instances of renal insufficiency are directly attributed to contrast material, with significantly higher mortality and morbidity than cases that do not involve contrast material. Contrast material causes an acceleration of the renal vasoconstrictive response, which results in a cascade of events that affect the vasoregulatory system. Multiple prophylactic measures must be instituted when considering a patient for a contrast study. Critical care nurses are pivotal in identifying patients’ risk factors and potential nephrotoxic agents in order to avoid contrast-induced nephropathy. This article outlines the pathophysiology and definitions of normal kidney function, nephropathy, and chronic kidney disease.

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