Evaluation of glomerular function in individual kidneys using dynamic magnetic resonance imaging
We used the fast field-echo technique of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with an intravenous bolus injection of paramagnetic contrast agent to evaluate glomerular function. The time-dependent curves of changes in signal intensity observed in the renal cortex and renal medulla brought about by the paramagnetic contrast agent allowed insight into excretory kinetics. The time at which the cortical and medullary curves cross, the cortico-medullary (C-M) junction time, was delayed with a decrease in glomerular function. The mean C-M junction time in both kidneys showed a significant inverse correlation with total creatinine clearance (Ccr), indicating the glomerular filtration rate. The C-M junction time in an individual kidney also showed an inverse correlation with individual Ccr in each kidney. Results suggest that dynamic MR imaging is a useful tool in evaluating renal morphology and in evaluating semi-quantitatively the glomerular function of the kidneys, singly and together, in a manner analogous to radionuclide scintigraphy.
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