How is contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) defined?

Updated: Feb 21, 2020
  • Author: Anita Basu, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is defined as the impairment of renal function—measured as either a 25% increase in serum creatinine (SCr) from baseline or a 0.5 mg/dL (44 µmol/L) increase in absolute SCr value—within 48-72 hours after intravenous contrast administration. [1]

For renal insufficiency to be attributable to contrast administration, it should be acute, usually occurring within 2-3 days (although it has been suggested that renal insufficiency developing up to 7 days post–contrast administration be considered CIN); it should also not be attributable to any other identifiable cause of renal failure. A temporal link is thus implied. [2] Following contrast exposure, SCr levels peak between 2 and 5 days and usually return to normal in 14 days. (See Presentation and Workup.)

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