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Br J Radiol. 2001 May;74(881):411-9.

Renal allograft vasculopathy: ultrasound findings in a non-human primate model of chronic rejection.

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  • 1Novartis Pharma AG, Transplantation Research, WSJ 386.526, S.386.526 Kohlenstrasse, 4002 Basel, Switzerland.


The purpose was to determine whether decreased cortical flow detected with power Doppler (PD) ultrasound in renal allografts in cynomolgus monkeys marks the presence or onset of chronic renal allograft vasculopathy. The 2D grey scale and PD ultrasound findings of 24 consecutively implanted non-life-supporting renal allografts in cynomolgus monkeys that underwent either 24 h (n=15) or 48 h (n=9) cold ischaemia times were recorded and compared with the results of histology performed every 2 weeks post-operatively. 13 allografts developed vasculopathies, 10 of which had PD scores equal to 1 (severe reduction of cortical flow). A PD score of 1 occurred in only one instance in the group of allografts without vasculopathies and this was due to necrosis. Allografts without vasculopathies otherwise had either PD scores of 3 (normal flow; n=2) or 2 (reduced flow; n=4). Allografts subjected to 48 h cold ischaemia times were smaller than those with 24 h cold ischaemia times (significant at weeks 5-11, p<0.05), but a reduction in graft size associated with vasculopathies occurred infrequently. In conclusion, the finding of reduced renal cortical flow detected by PD ultrasound during serial examination of non-life-supporting renal allografts is highly supportive of a diagnosis of graft vasculopathy due to arteriolar intimal proliferation, and illustrates an excellent method of monitoring changes in cortical perfusion in allografts in animal models. The combination of findings of reduced or absent cortical flow together with severe graft enlargement is highly suggestive of the presence of not only vasculopathies but also tissue damage and degeneration.

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