Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Nephrology & Urology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2023) | Viewed by 12495

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Bioengineering Department, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, 24020 Ranica, BG, Italy
Interests: medical imaging; image processing; DWI; renal MRI; ADPKD
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby DE22 3NE, UK
2. Centre for Kidney Research and Innovation, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Interests: acute kidney injury; haemodynamic and cardiovascular consequences of dialysis; renal imaging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there have been great advances in kidney imaging, allowing assessments of kidney structure and morphology, perfusion, function and metabolism, oxygenation, and microstructure.

This is becoming increasingly important in the evaluation of kidney physiology and pathophysiology, showing promise in the management of patients with kidney disease, in particular concerning diagnosis, classification, and prediction of disease development and progression, monitoring response to therapy, detection of drug toxicity, and patient selection for clinical trials.

A variety of imaging modalities are currently available to provide quantitative measures of the kidney both spatially and temporally. Imaging techniques should be chosen based on the clinical question and the disease area, and the integration of various modalities providing complementary information represents a promising development.

The current Special Issue aims to collect together recent advances in key imaging techniques that are currently available or potentially relevant to image kidney disease, excluding oncological applications. We hope this Special Issue will raise awareness among clinicians of a range of promising imaging tools that in the short to long term are expected to help improve kidney disease management in clinics.

Dr. Anna Caroli
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Selby
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • kidney disease
  • imaging techniques
  • MRI
  • CT
  • ultrasound
  • pathophysiology
  • diagnosis
  • prediction
  • progression
  • monitoring

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 2344 KiB  
Article
Shear Wave Elastography for Assessing Liver Stiffness in HCV-Infected Kidney Transplant Recipients after Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment: A Comparative Study with Magnetic Resonance Elastography
by Salma Almutawakel, Fabian Halleck, Michael Dürr, Ulrike Grittner, Eva Schrezenmeier, Klemens Budde, Christian E. Althoff, Bernd Hamm, Ingolf Sack, Thomas Fischer and Stephan R. Marticorena Garcia
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(24), 7547; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12247547 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 888
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can lead to hepatic fibrosis. The advent of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) has substantially improved sustained virological response (SVR) rates. In this context, kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) are of particular interest due to their higher HCV infection rates and [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can lead to hepatic fibrosis. The advent of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) has substantially improved sustained virological response (SVR) rates. In this context, kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) are of particular interest due to their higher HCV infection rates and uncertain renal excretion and bioavailability of DAAs. We investigated liver stiffness after DAA treatment in 15 HCV-infected KTRs using ultrasound shear wave elastography (SWE) in comparison with magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). KTRs were treated with DAAs (daclatasvir and sofosbuvir) for three months and underwent SWE at baseline, end of therapy (EOT), and 3 (EOT+3) and 12 months (EOT+12) after EOT. Fourteen patients achieved SVR12. Shear wave speed (SWS)—as a surrogate parameter for tissue stiffness—was substantially lower at all three post-therapeutic timepoints compared with baseline (EOT: −0.42 m/s, p < 0.01; CI = −0.75–−0.09, EOT+3: −0.43 m/s, p < 0.01; CI = −0.75–−0.11, and EOT+12: −0.52 m/s, p < 0.001; CI = −0.84–−0.19), suggesting liver regeneration after viral eradication and end of inflammation. Baseline SWS correlated positively with histopathological fibrosis scores (r = 0.48; CI = −0.11–0.85). Longitudinal results correlated moderately with APRI (r = 0.41; CI = 0.12–0.64) but not with FIB-4 scores (r = 0.12; CI = −0.19–0.41). Although higher on average, SWE-derived measurements correlated strongly with MRE (r = 0.64). In conclusion, SWE is suitable for non-invasive therapy monitoring in KTRs with HCV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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13 pages, 1781 KiB  
Article
Multiparametric Renal Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Prediction and Annual Monitoring of the Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease over Two Years
by Charlotte E. Buchanan, Huda Mahmoud, Eleanor F. Cox, Benjamin L. Prestwich, Rebecca A. Noble, Nicholas M. Selby, Maarten W. Taal and Susan T. Francis
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(23), 7282; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12237282 - 24 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Background: Multiparametric renal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides a non-invasive method to assess kidney structure and function, but longitudinal studies are limited. Methods: A total of 22 patients with CKD category G3-4 (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 15–59 mL/min/1.73 m2) were [...] Read more.
Background: Multiparametric renal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides a non-invasive method to assess kidney structure and function, but longitudinal studies are limited. Methods: A total of 22 patients with CKD category G3-4 (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 15–59 mL/min/1.73 m2) were recruited. Annual 3T multiparametric renal MRI scans were performed, comprising total kidney volume (TKV), longitudinal relaxation time (T1), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), Arterial Spin Labelling, and Blood Oxygen Level Dependent relaxation time (T2*), with 15 patients completing a Year 2 scan. CKD progression over 2 years was defined as eGFR_slope ≥ −5 mL/min/1.73 m2/year. Results: At baseline, T1 was higher (cortex p = 0.05, medulla p = 0.03) and cortex perfusion lower (p = 0.015) in participants with subsequent progression versus stable eGFR. A significant decrease in TKV and ADC and an increase in cortex T1 occurred in progressors at Year 1 and Year 2, with a significant decrease in perfusion in progressors only at Year 2. The only decline in the stable group was a reduction in TKV. There was no significant change in cortex or medulla T2* at Year 1 or Year 2 for progressors or stable participants. Conclusion: Lower renal cortex perfusion and higher T1 in the cortex and medulla may predict CKD progression, while renal cortex T1, TKV, and ADC may be useful to monitor progression. This study provides pilot data for future large-scale studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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12 pages, 993 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Renal Micro-Perfusion as Assessed with Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound in Healthy Males and Females
by Antonio Ulpiano Trillig, Aikaterini Damianaki, Mariëlle Hendriks-Balk, Wendy Brito, Jonas Garessus, Michel Burnier, Grégoire Wuerzner and Menno Pruijm
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(12), 4141; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12124141 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
(1) Background: The renal microcirculation is essential to maintain the renal function, but its determinants in humans have been poorly studied. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) allows the non-invasive quantification of the cortical micro-perfusion at the bedside using the perfusion index (PI). The aims of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The renal microcirculation is essential to maintain the renal function, but its determinants in humans have been poorly studied. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) allows the non-invasive quantification of the cortical micro-perfusion at the bedside using the perfusion index (PI). The aims of this study were to assess whether differences exist in PI between healthy males and females and to identify clinical determinants associated with cortical micro-perfusion. (2) Methods: Healthy, normotensive volunteers (eGFR > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, no albuminuria) underwent CEUS under standardized conditions with the destruction–reperfusion (DR) technique. The mean PI of four DR sequences was reported as the primary outcome measure (3) Results: A total of 115 subjects (77 females and 38 males) completed the study; the mean ± SD age was, respectively, 37.1 ± 12.2 and 37.1 ± 12.7 years in females and males, and the mean eGFR was 105.9 ± 15.1 and 91.0 ± 17.4 mL/min/1.73 m2. The PI (median) was higher in females than in males, i.e., 2705 (IQR 1641–3777) vs. 1965 (IQR 1294–3346) arbitrary units (a.u), p = 0.02). A correlation analysis showed positive associations between PI and eGFR, female sex, heart rate, plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma aldosterone concentrations (PAC), negative associations with potassium, bicarbonate and systolic blood pressure, and no associations with age, body mass index and renal resistive index (RRI). In a multivariate linear regression analysis, only PRA remained significantly associated with PI. (4) Conclusions: Although the PI was higher among females, this association was no longer significant after adjustment for covariates. There was no difference in females tested during the follicular or the luteal phases. In conclusion, the PI was only weakly influenced by classic clinical variables, but was positively associated with PRA, suggesting that the renin–angiotensin system plays a role in the regulation of the cortical micro-perfusion in humans. Identifying which other factors contribute to the large variations in micro-perfusion across individuals needs further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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12 pages, 2845 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Renal Fibrosis Using Magnetization Transfer Imaging at 1.5T and 3T in a Porcine Model of Renal Artery Stenosis
by Deep B. Gandhi, Mina Al Saeedi, James D. Krier, Kai Jiang, James F. Glockner and Lilach O. Lerman
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(8), 2956; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12082956 - 19 Apr 2023
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Abstract
Renal fibrosis is an important marker in the progression of chronic kidney disease, and renal biopsy is the current reference standard for detecting its presence. Currently, non-invasive methods have only been partially successful in detecting renal fibrosis. Magnetization transfer imaging (MTI) allows estimates [...] Read more.
Renal fibrosis is an important marker in the progression of chronic kidney disease, and renal biopsy is the current reference standard for detecting its presence. Currently, non-invasive methods have only been partially successful in detecting renal fibrosis. Magnetization transfer imaging (MTI) allows estimates of renal fibrosis but may vary with scanning conditions. We hypothesized that MTI-derived renal fibrosis would be reproducible at 1.5T and 3T MRI and over time in fibrotic kidneys. Fifteen pigs with unilateral renal artery stenosis (RAS, n = 9) or age-matched sham controls (n = 6) underwent MTI-MRI at both 1.5T and 3T 6 weeks post-surgery and again 4 weeks later. Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) measurements of fibrosis in both kidneys were compared between 1.5T and 3T, and the reproducibility of MTI at the two timepoints was evaluated at 1.5T and 3T. MTR at 3T with 600 Hz offset frequency successfully distinguished between normal, stenotic, and contralateral kidneys. There was excellent reproducibility of MTI at 1.5T and 3T over the two timepoints and no significant differences between MTR measurements at 1.5T and 3T. Therefore, MTI is a highly reproducible technique which is sensitive to detect changes in fibrotic compared to normal kidneys in the RAS porcine model at 3T. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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Review

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14 pages, 4416 KiB  
Review
Renal Perfusion, Oxygenation and Metabolism: The Role of Imaging
by Johanna Päivärinta, Ioanna A. Anastasiou, Niina Koivuviita, Kanishka Sharma, Pirjo Nuutila, Ele Ferrannini, Anna Solini and Eleni Rebelos
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(15), 5141; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12155141 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1486
Abstract
Thanks to technical advances in the field of medical imaging, it is now possible to study key features of renal anatomy and physiology, but so far poorly explored due to the inherent difficulties in studying both the metabolism and vasculature of the human [...] Read more.
Thanks to technical advances in the field of medical imaging, it is now possible to study key features of renal anatomy and physiology, but so far poorly explored due to the inherent difficulties in studying both the metabolism and vasculature of the human kidney. In this narrative review, we provide an overview of recent research findings on renal perfusion, oxygenation, and substrate uptake. Most studies evaluating renal perfusion with positron emission tomography (PET) have been performed in healthy controls, and specific target populations like obese individuals or patients with renovascular disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD) have rarely been assessed. Functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) has also been used to study renal perfusion in CKD patients, and recent studies have addressed the kidney hemodynamic effects of therapeutic agents such as glucagon-like receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) and sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2-i) in an attempt to characterise the mechanisms leading to their nephroprotective effects. The few available studies on renal substrate uptake are discussed. In the near future, these imaging modalities will hopefully become widely available with researchers more acquainted with them, gaining insights into the complex renal pathophysiology in acute and chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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26 pages, 9368 KiB  
Review
Abdominal Imaging in ADPKD: Beyond Total Kidney Volume
by Anna Caroli and Timothy L. Kline
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(15), 5133; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12155133 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2422
Abstract
In the context of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), measurement of the total kidney volume (TKV) is crucial. It acts as a marker for tracking disease progression, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment strategies. The TKV has also been recognized as an [...] Read more.
In the context of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), measurement of the total kidney volume (TKV) is crucial. It acts as a marker for tracking disease progression, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment strategies. The TKV has also been recognized as an enrichment biomarker and a possible surrogate endpoint in clinical trials. Several imaging modalities and methods are available to calculate the TKV, and the choice depends on the purpose of use. Technological advancements have made it possible to accurately assess the cyst burden, which can be crucial to assessing the disease state and helping to identify rapid progressors. Moreover, the development of automated algorithms has increased the efficiency of total kidney and cyst volume measurements. Beyond these measurements, the quantification and characterization of non-cystic kidney tissue shows potential for stratifying ADPKD patients early on, monitoring disease progression, and possibly predicting renal function loss. A broad spectrum of radiological imaging techniques are available to characterize the kidney tissue, showing promise when it comes to non-invasively picking up the early signs of ADPKD progression. Radiomics have been used to extract textural features from ADPKD images, providing valuable information about the heterogeneity of the cystic and non-cystic components. This review provides an overview of ADPKD imaging biomarkers, focusing on the quantification methods, potential, and necessary steps toward a successful translation to clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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16 pages, 692 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Sodium Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Its Future Role in Kidney Disease
by Alireza Akbari and Christopher W. McIntyre
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(13), 4381; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12134381 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
Sodium imbalance is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Excess tissue sodium in CKD is associated with hypertension, inflammation, and cardiorenal disease. Sodium magnetic resonance imaging (23Na MRI) has been increasingly utilized in CKD clinical trials especially in the past [...] Read more.
Sodium imbalance is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Excess tissue sodium in CKD is associated with hypertension, inflammation, and cardiorenal disease. Sodium magnetic resonance imaging (23Na MRI) has been increasingly utilized in CKD clinical trials especially in the past few years. These studies have demonstrated the association of excess sodium tissue accumulation with declining renal function across whole CKD spectrum (early- to end-stage), biomarkers of systemic inflammation, and cardiovascular dysfunction. In this article, we review recent advances of 23Na MRI in CKD and discuss its future role with a focus on the skin, the heart, and the kidney itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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21 pages, 1219 KiB  
Review
Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Renal Pathology: Advances and Prospects
by Yiqin Wang, Qiong Wen, Luhua Jin and Wei Chen
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(16), 4918; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11164918 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
Digital imaging and advanced microscopy play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of kidney diseases. In recent years, great achievements have been made in digital imaging, providing novel approaches for precise quantitative assessments of nephropathology and relieving burdens of renal pathologists. Developing novel [...] Read more.
Digital imaging and advanced microscopy play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of kidney diseases. In recent years, great achievements have been made in digital imaging, providing novel approaches for precise quantitative assessments of nephropathology and relieving burdens of renal pathologists. Developing novel methods of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology through multidisciplinary interaction among computer engineers, renal specialists, and nephropathologists could prove beneficial for renal pathology diagnoses. An increasing number of publications has demonstrated the rapid growth of AI-based technology in nephrology. In this review, we offer an overview of AI-assisted renal pathology, including AI concepts and the workflow of processing digital image data, focusing on the impressive advances of AI application in disease-specific backgrounds. In particular, this review describes the applied computer vision algorithms for the segmentation of kidney structures, diagnosis of specific pathological changes, and prognosis prediction based on images. Lastly, we discuss challenges and prospects to provide an objective view of this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Kidney Disease Imaging)
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