The recent development of contrast echography has made renal enhancement possible through an intravenous injection of microbubble-based contrast. In animal models, tissue perfusion can be quantified using contrast echography by measurement of the rate at which microbubbles replenish tissue after their ultrasound-induced destruction. Our purpose in this study was to evaluate renal blood flow with contrast echography in humans. To increase the sensitivity for microbubbles, we used a combination of power Doppler harmonic and intermittent imaging. The pulsing interval (PI) was changed from 10 cardiac cycles to 1 cardiac cycle during an intravenous infusion of the contrast agent, and alterations in the intensity of the renal cortex were represented as a decline ratio (DR). In 24 patients with various renal diseases, we were able to observe all 48 kidneys with adequate enhancement of the renal cortex. At PI of 10 cardiac cycles, the enhancement was homogeneous and strong, while, obviously, changing PI from 10 to 1 cardiac cycles caused a decline of enhancement. An excellent correlation was found between DR using contrast echography and renal plasma flow determined by clearance and radionuclide measurements. An excellent correlation was found between the DR values determined by contrast echography and the renal plasma flow values determined using clearance and radionuclide measurements. These results suggest that DR may be useful for evaluation of both total and split renal blood flow. Thus the contrast echographic method presented here could succeed in assessing renal cortical blood flow less invasively than conventional methods in humans.
- Contrast echography
- Split renal blood flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine