JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Renal artery stenosis evaluation in chronic kidney disease patients: nonenhanced time-spatial labeling inversion-pulse three-dimensional MR angiography with regulated breathing versus DSA.

Radiology 2011 May
PURPOSE: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of nonenhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiographic flow-in technique with three-dimensional balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) (flow-in balanced SSFP), compared with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as reference standard, for assessment of renal artery stenosis (RAS) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Institutional review board approval and written informed consent were obtained for this prospective HIPAA-compliant study. Twenty-three patients, 13 men (mean age, 67.6 years ± 8.1 [standard deviation]; age range, 58-86 years) and 10 women (mean age 73.1 years ± 12.4; age range, 49-89 years), were evaluated with flow-in balanced SSFP and DSA. Coronal and axial flow-in balanced SSFP images were obtained with 1.5-T system, with regulated breathing (recorded voice instruction). The quality of flow-in balanced SSFP images was visually evaluated; the degree of stenosis was compared between flow-in balanced SSFP source images and DSA images by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Correlation between images from both modalities was calculated as the Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient; bias was examined with Bland-Altman plots.

RESULTS: Diagnostic images were obtained in all patients. Flow-in balanced SSFP image quality was good in 87% (20 of 23) and moderate in 13% (three of 23) of patients. Forty-five renal arteries were included in the statistical analysis. Of 36 stenoses detected with flow-in balanced SSFP, 28 were relevant (degree of stenosis, ≥ 50%). The stenosis measurements of flow-in balanced SSFP were highly correlated (ρ = 0.91, P < .001) with those of DSA. The Bland-Altman plot showed a slight overestimation of the degree of stenosis (mean bias, 2.33% ± 11.95). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of flow-in balanced SSFP relative to DSA for the diagnosis of a stenosis of 50% or greater were 93% (26 of 28), 88% (15 of 17), 93% (26 of 28), 88% (15 of 17), and 91% (41 of 45), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Flow-in balanced SSFP with regulated breathing is an appropriate nonenhanced MR angiographic technique for RAS assessment in CKD patients.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.11101422/-/DC1.

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