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Thread: ct scan and creatine level

  1. #1

    ct scan and creatine level

    Dr. Young,

    Hope you can clarify and educate me on the following: i just returned from attempting to have a ct scan on my lower abdomen. ive been having some pain and my urologists orderded the ct scan with iv contrast, without iv contrast and oral contrast. i had to have a blood test done before hand and the x-ray tech said that my creatine level was below the range it should be to administer the contrasting dye intravenously. i think she said the minimum creatine level is .05 and mine was .02. since it was a holiday day today and it is a rural hospital there was no qualified physician on duty in the x-ray dept. so she didn't give me the dye intravenously because she didn't know if she should. however we did do the ct scan without the dye and i'm waiting to hear from the results of those before i go back tomorrow to do the iv dye portion. my question is what can cause the creatine level to be low, why is it not appropriate to give the iv dye if the creatine level is low and is there any
    danger in doing so.i would appreciate your input and knowledge on this plus anything you feel that could help. thanks! toss

  2. #2

    Serum creatine vs. creatinine clearance

    Serum creatine level is often low in people with SCI as it is impacted by the amount of muscle mass the person has. Generally a low creatine would lead someone to not want to use contrast agents, which can also be toxic to the kidney.

    A better test for those with SCI when making this decision is creatinine clearance (which requires a 24 hour urine collection and a blood test). This should be done for all people with SCI annually. Ask your physician to order this if you have not had one recently. If this level is safe, then the contrast can be used safely.

    (I hope it is OK with JAH that I answered this, but just got information about this at a conference I attended.)


  3. #3
    tosssweep, I think that the technician was being cautious. In general, high creatine levels would suggest kidney problems and, in such cases, it is probably best not to give intravenous contrast since it might aggravate kidney damage. However, low creatine levels do not suggest kidney problems. Do you remember how low it was? In general, when people have creatine levels *higher* than 2.5 mg/dl, intravenous contrast should not be given. However, I do not know of any restrictions when creatine levels are low. Wise.

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