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Magn Reson Imaging. 2000 Jun;18(5):587-95.

Quantitative assessment of rat kidney function by measuring the clearance of the contrast agent Gd(DOTA) using dynamic MRI.

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  • 1Core Technology Area, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been applied to assess kidney function in normal rats by monitoring the passage of the extracellular contrast agent GdDOTA. High-resolution images have been obtained using either the rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) or the snapshot pulse sequence. The latter was superior in anatomic definition due to the shorter echo delays used. The GdDOTA induced signal enhancements in the various renal structures were theoretically modeled and the results of the regression analysis then used to estimate local tissue concentrations in renal cortex, inner medulla and outer medulla/pelvis. The concentration-time curves in vena cava and renal cortex were similar and distinctly different from the ones in medulla and pelvis. This is reflected in the time-to-peak (TTP) values, which were TTP (blood) = 0.18 +/- 0.03 < TTP (cortex) = 0.26 +/- 0.05 < TTP (outer medulla) = 0.62 +/- 0.03 < TTP (inner medulla/pelvis) = 0.92 +/- 0.16 min. The initial tracer uptake rates depended linearly on the dose of GdDOTA administered, the value of the uptake rate in the cortex being significantly higher than those in the outer and inner medulla, which were identical within error limits. The initial medullar tracer uptake followed a first-order kinetics. The rate constant k(cl) = (dc[medulla]/dt)/c[cortex] = 3.4 +/- 0.5 min(-1) for the transition from cortex (predominantly blood signal) to medulla (predominantly urine) was considered a measure for the renal clearance. Intravenous administration of furosemide at doses 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg led to a dose-dependent decrease of k(cl). This reflects the inhibitory effect of the diuretic furosemide on medullary water resorption and thus the dilution of the GdDOTA in urine.

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