Gadolinium-enhanced excretory MR urography after low-dose diuretic injection: comparison with conventional excretory urography

C C Nolte-Ernsting, A Bücker, G B Adam, J M Neuerburg, P Jung, D W Hunter, G Jakse, R W Günther
Radiology 1998, 209 (1): 147-57

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical utility and morphologic accuracy of gadolinium-enhanced excretory magnetic resonance (MR) urography after low-dose diuretic injection and to correlate the results with those of conventional urography.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 71 patients with urologic symptoms, excretory MR urography was performed after intravenous injection of 5-10 mg furosemide and, 30-60 seconds later, 0.1 mmol of gadopentetate dimeglumine per kilogram of body weight. The MR urograms were interpreted by three radiologists, who were blinded to the clinical outcome, and subsequently compared with conventional urograms.

RESULTS: Injection of furosemide before contrast material led to rapid, uniform gadolinium distribution inside a sufficiently distended collecting system such that there was no excessive concentration of gadolinium in the urine. In patients with normal or moderately reduced excretory function, this effect allowed complete visualization of the urinary tract within 5-20 minutes of contrast material injection while minimizing gadolinium-related endoluminal T2* effects. The clinical course helped verify almost all MR urographic results. The MR urographic technique was significantly superior to conventional urography in the assessment of the ureters and bladder (P < .0001). Delineation of small caliceal abnormalities is still problematic. The best depiction of the pelvicaliceal system was obtained with fat-suppressed MR imaging, although it was still slightly inferior to conventional urography (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Gadolinium-enhanced excretory MR urography performed after low-dose diuretic injection is a promising and accurate alternative to conventional excretory urography for imaging the morphology of the urinary tract.

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