BACKGROUND: There is no consensus and a limited evidence base for choice of contrast agents (CA) in angiography. This study evaluated the impact of iohexol and iodixanol CA on fibrinolytic factors (tissue plasminogen activator [t-PA] and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 [PAI-1]), as well as platelet-monocyte conjugates in cardiac patients undergoing elective angiography in a double-blind, randomised parallel group study.
METHODS: Patients (men, 50-70 years old; n = 12) were randomised to receive either iohexol (Omnipaque; n = 6) or iodixanol (Visipaque; n = 6) during elective angiography at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, UK. Arterial and venous blood samples were drawn prior to CA delivery and following angiography. Assessment of platelet-monocyte conjugation, t-PA and PAI-1 antigen and activity was conducted in samples pre- and post-angiography.
OUTCOME: Plasma t-PA antigen was depressed equally in the study groups after angiography, but there was a greater reduction in PAI-1 antigen in the group receiving iodixanol. These findings corresponded to a substantial reduction in t-PA activity in patients receiving iohexol, with no change in those receiving iodixanol (P = 0.023 between the CA groups). Both CAs caused a reduction in platelet-monocyte conjugation, with no difference between the groups. No adverse events were reported during the trial.
CONCLUSION: Avoiding reduced plasma t-PA activity might be an important consideration in choosing iodixanol over iohexol in patients at risk of thrombosis following angiography. The trial is registered on the ISRCTN register (ISRCTN51509735) and funded by the Coronary Thrombosis Trust and National Health Service (Highland) R&D Endowments. The funders had no influence over study design or reporting.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN51509735.