Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1, alprostadl), a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, can safely prevent contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) in high-risk patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, investigators reported online ahead of print in International Urology and Nephrology.

Wen-Hua Li, MD, and colleagues at XuZhou Medical College, Xuzhou, China, randomly assigned 163 high-risk patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention to receive PGE1 (82 patients) or to a control group (81 patients).

The treatment arm received a 20 ng/kg/min PGE1 intravenous infusion for 6 hours before and after the administration of contrast media. Controls received only 0.9% sodium chloride solution for routine hydration. The two groups received similar amounts of contrast media.

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The incidence of CIN was significantly lower in the PGE1 than the control group (2.7% vs. 11.1%). The investigators observed no serious adverse events.

The researchers defined CIN as a serum creatinine increase of 0.5 mg/dL or greater or 25% or greater.