Comparison of N-acetylcysteine and fenoldopam for preventing contrast-induced nephropathy (CAFCIN)

Tien M H Ng, Scott W. Shurmur, Mary Silver, Lindsay R. Nissen, Edward L. O'Leary, Richard S. Rigmaiden, Mike Cieciorka, Laura L. Porter, Beata A. Ineck, Mary E. Kline, Susan E. Puumala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: N-acetylcysteine and fenoldopam are commonly prescribed for prevention of contrast mediated nephropathy, however, comparative superiority of either agent is unknown. Methods: In a prospective, randomized, parallel-group trial, adult cardiac catheterization patients at the university and veterans' hospitals with pre-existing stable renal insufficiency were randomized to N-acetylcysteine 600 mg orally twice daily for 4 doses or fenoldopam 0.1 mcg/kg/min intravenously for a minimum of 8 h. All patients received intravenous hydration with normal saline (5% dextrose in normal saline for diabetics on insulin). Randomization was stratified for diabetes. The primary endpoint was mean change in Scr at 72 h. Secondary endpoint was the incidence of contrast-induced nephropathy (25% increase above baseline Scr or absolute increase of 0.5 mg/dL). Results: Study termination occurred after ninety-five patients (mean age 68 ± 10 years, female 25%, diabetic 42%, mean baseline Scr 1.5 ± 0.4 mg/dL) were randomized, with 84 completing follow-up (44 N-acetylcysteine, 40 fenoldopam). Overall, there were no significant differences in mean change in Scr at 72 h (N-acetylcysteine 0.20 ± 0.72 vs. fenoldopam 0.08 ± 0.48 mg/dL, p = 0.4) or incidence of contrast-induced nephropathy (N-acetylcysteine 5 vs fenoldopam 8, p = 0.4). No differences were detected in subgroup analyses for diabetes, baseline Scr > 1.7 or 2.0 mg/dL, gender, age > 70 years, or contrast volume > 150 mL. Results were similar after multivariate adjustment for diabetes, contrast volume, heart failure and gender. Conclusions: Our randomized comparison failed to demonstrate a significant difference in the abilities of N-acetylcysteine and fenoldopam to prevent the decline in renal function or the incidence of contrast-induced nephropathy during cardiac catheterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 24 2006


  • Angiography
  • Clinical trials
  • Fenoldopam
  • N-acetylcysteine
  • Nephropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of N-acetylcysteine and fenoldopam for preventing contrast-induced nephropathy (CAFCIN)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this