When is contrast-enhanced sonography preferable over conventional ultrasound combined with Doppler imaging in renal transplantation?
OPEN Clinical kidney journal | 29 Sep 2015
M Zeisbrich, LP Kihm, F Drüschler, M Zeier and V Schwenger
Conventional ultrasound in combination with colour Doppler imaging is still the standard diagnostic procedure for patients after renal transplantation. However, while conventional ultrasound in combination with Doppler imaging can diagnose renal artery stenosis and vein thrombosis, it is not possible to display subtle microvascular tissue perfusion, which is crucial for the evaluation of acute and chronic allograft dysfunctions. In contrast, real-time contrast-enhanced sonography (CES) uses gas-filled microbubbles not only to visualize but also to quantify renal blood flow and perfusion even in the small renal arterioles and capillaries. It is an easy to perform and non-invasive imaging technique that augments diagnostic capabilities in patients after renal transplantation. Specifically in the postoperative setting, CES has been shown to be superior to conventional ultrasound in combination with Doppler imaging in uncovering even subtle microvascular disturbances in the allograft perfusion. In addition, quantitative perfusion parameters derived from CES show predictive capability regarding long-term kidney function.
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