To differentiate healthy kidneys from diseased kidneys, we propose a combined magnetic resonance (MR) examination that includes measurements of renal arterial blood flow and parenchymal perfusion.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 130 kidneys (patients/healthy volunteers: 83/47) were examined using renal artery MR flow measurements and renal parenchymal perfusion measurements, as well as contrast-enhanced MR angiography. Cine phase-contrast-flow measurements were performed using an ECG-gated fast low angle shot pulse sequence; perfusion was measured with an arterial spin labeling flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery technique. Contrast-enhanced MR angiography was performed with a fast 3D gradient echo sequence in a single breath hold. For evaluation, kidneys were divided into groups based on nephrologic diagnosis of the patient. Recursive partitioning and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to separate the different groups.
Significant differences in mean renal artery flow and parenchymal perfusion were found in kidneys with renal artery stenosis as well as parenchymal disease as compared with healthy kidneys. Using a classification tree derived from the recursive partitioning, a specificity of 99% and sensitivity of 69% with a positive/negative predictive value of 97%/84% was achieved for the separation of healthy kidneys from kidneys with vascular, parenchymal or combined disease. The overall accuracy was 88%.
The combination of cine PC flow measurements and MR perfusion measurements offers a comprehensive assessment of both renovascular and renoparenchymal disease and provide a noninvasive approach to differentiate between these kidneys and normal kidneys.