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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2001 Jul-Aug;24(4):233-9.

Can MR measurement of renal artery flow and renal volume predict the outcome of percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty?

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Department of Radiology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.



Predicting therapeutic benefit from percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty (PTRA) in patients with renal artery stenosis (RAS) remains difficult. This study investigates whether magnetic resonance (MR)-based renal artery flow measurements relative to renal parenchymal volume can predict clinical outcome following PTRA.


The data on 23 patients (13 men, 10 women; age range 47-82 years, mean age 64 years) were analyzed. The indication for treatment was hypertension (n = 18) or renal insufficiency (n = 5). Thirty-four cases of RAS were identified: bilateral disease was manifest in 11 and unilateral disease in 12 patients. The MR imaging protocol included a breath-hold, cardiac-gated cine phase-contrast sequence for renal flow measurement and a fast multiplanar spoiled gradient-echo sequence for renal volume measurement. MR measurements were performed on the day prior to and the day following PTRA. Clinical success was defined as (a) a reduction in diastolic blood pressure > 15% or (b) a reduction in serum creatinine > 20%. Kidneys were categorized as normal volume or low volume. A renal flow index (RFI) was calculated by dividing the renal flow (ml/min) by the renal volume (cm3).


Clinical success was observed in patients. Twelve patients did not benefit from angioplasty. Normal kidney volume was seen in 10 of 11 responders and in 8 of 12 nonresponders, resulting in a sensitivity of 91%, specificity of 33%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 56% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 80%. A RFI below a threshold of 1.5 ml/min/cm3 predicted successful outcome with 100% sensitivity, 33% specificity, 58% PPV, and 100% NPV. The combination of normal renal volume and a RFI below 1.5 ml/min/cm3 identified PTRA responders with a sensitivity of 91%, a specificity of 67%, a PPV of 71%, and a NPV of 89%. PTRA resulted in a greater increase in renal flow in responders compared with nonresponders (p < 0.001).


A combination of cine phase-contrast MR renal flow and parenchymal volume measurements enables identification of patients benefiting from PTRA with a high sensitivity and NPV, but only moderate specificity and PPV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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