JOURNAL ARTICLE

One-stop assessment of renal function and renal artery in hypertensive patients with suspected renal dysfunction: non-enhanced MRI using spatial labeling with multiple inversion pulses

Ping Liang, Chuou Xu, Pratik Tripathi, Jiali Li, Anqin Li, Daoyu Hu, Ihab Kamel, Zhen Li
European Radiology 2020 August 4
32749582

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether spatial labeling with multiple inversion pulses (SLEEK) sequence can be employed as a one-stop assessment method for evaluating renal function and displaying renal artery in hypertensive patients with suspected renal dysfunction.

METHODS: A total of 78 patients with suspected hypertensive renal damage were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients underwent MRI examinations, and both SLEEK and DWI sequences were performed simultaneously. According to estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), patients were divided into three groups (Group 1, eGFR> 90; Group 2, eGFR = 60-90; Group 3, eGFR< 60). Twenty-two of these patients also underwent CT angiography (CTA) examination. Comparison between CTA, DWI, and eGFR was performed to assess the value of SLEEK in evaluating renal function and displaying renal artery.

RESULTS: The performance of SLEEK to display renal artery was highly consistent with the results of CTA (kappa = 0.713). The corticomedullary contrast ratio positively correlated with eGFR (p = 0.004, r = 0.322) and was significantly higher in SLEEK images than in DWI images in all three groups (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in corticomedullary contrast ratio in SLEEK images between Group 1 and Group 2 (p = 0.285). However, the minimal renal cortical thickness, which significantly correlated with eGFR (p < 0.001, r = 0.866), was significantly different between Group 1 and Group 2 (p < 0.001). ROC analysis showed good diagnostic performance when differentiating patients with eGFR> 60 from those with eGFR< 60.

CONCLUSIONS: The SLEEK sequence could evaluate simultaneously renal function through corticomedullary differentiation and renal arteries, enabling one-stop assessment in hypertensive patients with suspected renal dysfunction.

KEY POINTS: • Spatial labeling with multiple inversion pulses (SLEEK) improves renal corticomedullary differentiation in hypertensive patients with renal dysfunction compared with DWI. • SLEEK clearly displays renal artery in hypertensive patients with renal dysfunction. • SLEEK could be utilized as a one-stop assessment method for evaluating renal function and renal artery in hypertensive patients.

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