Harbor:Creatinine screening prior to IV contrast

  • ED patients do NOT require creatinine measurement prior to IV contrast if the study is immediately necessary to prevent life-threatening decompensation or delay in emergent treatment (e.g., trauma patients, dissection r/o)
  • DHS IV Contrast Expected Practices 10-2022
    • Ok to give IV contrast if GFR>30
    • No need for GFR screening if age <60 with no pertinent history (AKI, CKD, HD with urine output, renal transplant, Metformin use)
    • If the GFR<30, ER physician should state in the CT order “Clinical History” or document in the chart that IV contrast is necessary and authorized.
      • Alternately, the CT tech may call the physician to confirm IV contrast is necessary and authorized, and CT tech should document this communication in the chart.
    • Screening for MRI contrast is unnecessary unless using Eovist for liver mets study (all ED Emergent studies should use Dotarem or Gadavist)

See Also



  1. Tippins RB, Torres WE, Baumgartner BR, Baumgarten DA. Are screening serum creatinine levels necessary prior to outpatient CT examinations? Radiology. 2000 Aug;216(2):481-4.
  2. ACR Manual on Contrast Media – Version 10, 2015. PDF Accessed 08/10/15