Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is a common cause of acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients. The mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of CIN are incompletely understood. Goodman et al. have demonstrated for the first time that heme oxygenase-1, a 32-kilodalton protein with antioxidant, antiapoptotic, anti-inflammatory effects, is induced in the kidney and, importantly, provides a beneficial effect in CIN. © 2007 International Society of Nephrology.