Effects of N-acetylcysteine on renal hemodynamics in contrast media-induced nephropathy.
ABSTRACT Background: N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been proposed to prevent radiocontrast nephropathy in high-risk patients. Methods: The effect of single-dose and prolonged administration of NAC before application of either the ionic, high-osmolar radiocontrast agent diatrizoate sodium (DTZ) or the nonionic, low-osmolar radiocontrast agent iohexol (IOH) in a rat model combining uninephrectomy, salt depletion, and administration of indomethacin was explored. Arterial blood pressure and total, cortical, and medullary blood flow were continuously recorded in anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. Results: NAC had no effect on renal hemodynamics in control rats. Both DTZ and IOH induced biphasic changes in renal blood flow and cortical renal blood flux and persistently reduced medullary blood flux. Neither single-dose nor prolonged administration of NAC prevented the hemodynamic changes following administration of DTZ or IOH, respectively. Acute prophylactic administration of NAC prevented increased urinary ET excretion after injection of IOH and, to a smaller degree, of DTZ. Both an ionic, high-osmolar (DTZ) and a nonionic, low-osmolar (IOH) radiocontrast agent induce marked changes in renal hemodynamics in salt-depleted rats treated with indomethacin. Conclusions: Renal perfusion is not affected by NAC application in a model of experimental contrast nephropathy in rats. Other effects of NAC might thus account for the presumed renoprotective properties.