COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Magnetic resonance angiography versus duplex sonography for diagnosing renovascular disease

D A Leung, U Hoffmann, T Pfammatter, T F Hany, L Rainoni, P Hilfiker, E Schneider, G G Zimmermann-Paul, J F Debatin
Hypertension 1999, 33 (2): 726-31
10024336
Noninvasive testing for renovascular disease is required to identify patients who may benefit from revascularization procedures without exposing an unnecessary amount of patients to the risks of catheter angiography. All available methods of diagnosing renal artery stenosis have significant limitations. We compared a new technique, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography, with an established technique, duplex ultrasonography, for the detection of renal artery stenosis using catheter angiography as the standard of reference. Eighty-nine patients with clinically suspected renovascular disease underwent duplex renal scanning and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography. Sixty of these also underwent catheter angiography. All studies were interpreted for the presence of renal artery stenosis blinded to the results of the other imaging modalities. For detection of hemodynamically significant (>/=60% diameter reduction) main renal artery stenosis, sensitivity and specificity were 90% and 86%, respectively, for magnetic resonance angiography and 81% and 87% for duplex sonography. Most false readings involved differential grading of stenoses detected with all 3 techniques. When patients with fibromuscular dysplasia were excluded from the analysis, the sensitivity of magnetic resonance angiography increased to 97%, with a negative predictive value of 98%. Magnetic resonance angiography detected 96% and duplex 5% of accessory renal arteries seen at catheter angiography. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography is a useful technique for diagnosing atherosclerotic renovascular disease. It overcomes the major limitations of duplex renal scanning. However, duplex has the advantage of providing hemodynamic information and appears better suited for the assessment of patients with suspected fibromuscular dysplasia.

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