University of Heidelberg
Faculty of Medicine Mannheim
University Hospital Mannheim
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Assessment of renal function after conformal radiotherapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy by functional (1)H-MRI and (23)Na-MRI

S. Haneder, H. Michaely, S. Schoenberg, S. Konstandin, L. Schad, K. Siebenlist, H. Wertz, F. Wenz, F. Lohr and J. Boda-Heggemann

Strahlenther Onkol, 188 (12), pp.1146-1154

PURPOSE: Adjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCHT) improves survival of patients with locally advanced gastric cancer. Conventional three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) results in ablative doses to a significant amount of the left kidney, while image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) provides excellent target coverage with improved kidney sparing. Few long-term results on IMRT for gastric cancer, however, have been published. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3.0 T including blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and, for the first time, (23)Na imaging was used to evaluate renal status after radiotherapy with 3D-CRT or IG-IMRT. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Four disease-free patients (2 after 3D-CRT and 2 after IMRT; FU for all patients >?5 years) were included in this feasibility study. Morphological sequences, axial DWI images, 2D-gradient echo (GRE)-BOLD images, and (23)Na images were acquired. Mean values/standard deviations for ((23)Na), the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and R2* values were calculated for the upper/middle/lower parts of both kidneys. Corticomedullary (23)Na-concentration gradients were determined. RESULTS: Surprisingly, IG-IMRT patients showed no morphological alterations and no statistically significant differences of ADC and R2* values in all renal parts. Values for mean corticomedullary (23)Na-concentration matched those for healthy volunteers. Results were similar in 3D-CRT patients, except for the cranial part of the left kidney. This was atrophic and presented significantly reduced functional parameters (p?=?0.001-p?=?0.033). Reduced ADC values indicated reduced cell density and reduced extracellular space. Cortical and medullary R2* values of the left cranial kidney in the 3D-CRT group were higher, indicating more deoxygenated hemoglobin due to reduced blood flow/oxygenation. ((23)Na) of the renal cranial parts in the 3D-CRT group was significantly reduced, while the expected corticomedullary (23)Na-concentration gradient was partially conserved. CONCLUSIONS: Functional MRI can assess postradiotherapeutic renal changes. As expected, marked morphological/functional effects were observed in high-dose areas (3D-CRT), while, unexpectedly, no alteration in kidney function was observed in IG-IMRT patients, supporting the hypothesis that reducing total/fractional dose to the renal parenchyma by IMRT is clinically beneficial.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 22.01.2019
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