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Quantitative Renal Perfusion Measurements in a Rat Model of Acute Kidney Injury at 3T: Testing Inter- and Intramethodical Significance of ASL and DCE-MRI

F. Zimmer, F. Zöllner, S. Höger, S. Klotz, C. Tsagogiorgas, B. Krämer and L. Schad

PLoS ONE, 8 (1), p.e53849

Objectives To establish arterial spin labelling (ASL) for quantitative renal perfusion measurements in a rat model at 3 Tesla and to test the diagnostic significance of ASL and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) in a model of acute kidney injury (AKI). Material and Methods ASL and DCE-MRI were consecutively employed on six Lewis rats, five of which had a unilateral ischaemic AKI. All measurements in this study were performed on a 3 Tesla MR scanner using a FAIR True-FISP approach and a TWIST sequence for ASL and DCE-MRI, respectively. Perfusion maps were calculated for both methods and the cortical perfusion of healthy and diseased kidneys was inter- and intramethodically compared using a region-of-interest based analysis. Results/Significance Both methods produce significantly different values for the healthy and the diseased kidneys (P<0.01). The mean difference was 147±47 ml/100 g/min and 141±46 ml/100 g/min for ASL and DCE-MRI, respectively. ASL measurements yielded a mean cortical perfusion of 416±124 ml/100 g/min for the healthy and 316±102 ml/100 g/min for the diseased kidneys. The DCE-MRI values were systematically higher and the mean cortical renal blood flow (RBF) was found to be 542±85 ml/100 g/min (healthy) and 407±119 ml/100 g/min (AKI). Conclusion Both methods are equally able to detect abnormal perfusion in diseased (AKI) kidneys. This shows that ASL is a capable alternative to DCE-MRI regarding the detection of abnormal renal blood flow. Regarding absolute perfusion values, nontrivial differences and variations remain when comparing the two methods.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 21.09.2020
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