Heart valve replacement

Hello everyone, this might seem a bit random but I don't know where else to ask! M mums vasculitis caused kidney damage, he consultant said her readings were now 44 from 30 something, this is three years after her vasculitis.

She now has a calcified heart valve and they told her to have a x-ray using special dye, this we are told can cause kidney failure in people with damaged kidneys!

What to do?

Anybody have experience of this???



4 Replies

  • Hi Paul,

    It's well known that X Ray dye can cause problems with the kidneys, but not for everyone.

    Have you spoken to your mum's renal Dr about this? They are better placed to work out if the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. Sometimes they admit patients at risk and give them IV fluids after the scan to " flush " the dye out.

  • Yes - Keyes is right, this is something to discuss with the renal specialist as he is best able to make that assessment.

    Is the figure the doctor gave you the glomerular filtration rate? That is a measure of the amount of blood that can be cleared of protein via the kidneys - normal in younger people is about 90 but it does fall naturally as you get older as well as with damage due to disease.

    The risk you are talking about is:

    "Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognized, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of gadolinium-based contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function. Careful assessment of kidney function before considering a contrast injection minimizes the risk of this very rare complication."

    You mum doesn't have "very poor" kidney function - but the person to talk to it about, as we've said, is the renal specialist. It is all a balance of the risks involved - and only the experts can express an opinion there. In fact - realy the renal specialist and the cardiologist need to talk to one another!

  • Thanks both, I couldn't get to see mums consultant this time, only just got in from work today, 15 hours!!

    Mum is extremely worried that this test could end up with her in renal failure, it dosen't sound as if it's as risky as we thought.

    I'll Google it some more over the weekend.



  • Found these guidelines for CT contrast and renal failure. They explain the problem and solution fairly well.


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