Protocols and future directions in imaging of renal artery stenosis: CT angiography.
ABSTRACT Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) has become an established technique for minimally invasive imaging of renal artery stenosis. This article describes in detail the current scan protocols suggested for renal artery stenosis and explains the rationale behind the choice of such parameters as collimation, pitch, reconstruction interval, scan duration and scan length. It discusses the optimized use of contrast agents including bolus triggering and a saline flush to improve contrast agent utilization. Examples of optimized scan protocols are given for various scanner types including subsecond scanners and multislice computed tomography. With standard 1-s scanners, a slice collimation of 2 mm is recommended. A pitch factor of 1.5-2 is important for optimum volume coverage. Smoothing reconstruction kernels improve signal-to-noise ratio and allow for dose reduction. For optimum results, the plateau phase of contrast enhancement has to be matched as precisely as possible. Thus, a test bolus injection or an automated bolus triggering technique should be employed. Axial CT images remain the basis for making the diagnosis but require interactive viewing on a monitor display. Image processing (multiplanar reformats; maximum intensity projections; shaded surface displays) is employed to display the renal arteries. Given optimized examination protocols, high sensitivity and specificity can be achieved (90-98%) with negative predictive values of greater than 95%. Thus, a normal CT angiogram virtually rules out renal artery stenosis.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Since the introduction of multislice CT scanners, CT angiography (CTA) has become a powerful tool for imaging the vascular system. We compare conventional angiography to CTA in the diagnosis of morphological changes in the abdominal aorta and its branches. A retrospective analysis of 52 patients who underwent both multislice CT angiography (MSCTA) and digital subtraction angiography before surgical treatment is presented. All CT examinations were performed after administration of 100 mL contrast medium with a collimation of 4 x 1 mm and a pitch of 7. A standardized evaluation of the axial, multiplanar and 3D reconstructions was performed by two experienced radiologists. Stenoses were classified as high-grade and low-grade, and aneurysms, occlusions and arteriosclerosis were evaluated. The CTA findings were compared with conventional angiography. All aneurysms, occlusions, stenoses and calcifications were diagnosed correctly by CTA in axial and multiplanar projections (sensitivity 1.0; specificity 1.0). The degree of stenosis was overestimated in three cases when using axial projections. Three-dimensional volume-rendered CTA showed a sensitivity of 0.91 for aneurysms, 0.82 for stenoses, 0.75 for occlusions and 0.77 for calcifications. The specificity was 1.0 in all cases. Multislice CT angiography seems to be similar to conventional digital subtraction angiography for abdominal vessels if multiplanar projections are used.Australasian Radiology 07/2004; 48(2):142-7. · 0.51 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Noninvasive modalities, including duplex ultrasonography, renal scintigraphy, CT angiography and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), may usefully contribute to diagnosis and treatment planning in patients with suspected renal artery stenosis. Important technical developments have increased the accuracy and feasibility of MRA for the detection of renal artery stenosis. A number of different MRA techniques can be applied to the study of renal arteries, but contrast-enhanced MRA represents the most valuable approach; several studies corroborate the high diagnostic accuracy of this technique, especially for the detection of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. A combined MRA protocol, which might include angiographic information provided by contrast-enhanced technique in addition to renal flow information derived from phase-contrast imaging, could help in classifying patients appropriately. Limitations of renal MRA include low accuracy in the evaluation of renal fibromuscular dysplasia and in the assessment of patients who undergo stenting of the renal arteries. This review describes the MRA techniques applied to the study of renal artery stenosis, including the technical features of current approaches and forthcoming developments. An overview of the clinical role of MRA, in conjunction with the other diagnostic modalities, in the identification and management of patients with renal artery stenosis, is also presented.Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine 07/2006; 3(6):329-38. · 7.04 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In western countries, the risk of cardiovascular disease has increased considerably in recent decades. This trend has been paralleled by an increase in cases of atherosclerotic renal disease, which is related to the improved prognosis of cardiovascular diseases, aging, and the increasing mean age of the general population. It is reasonable to expect that in the near future, there will be a sharp increase in the number of elderly patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease in chronic dialysis programs. The result will be a dramatic rise in the social and economic costs of dialysis that could constitute a true clinical emergency. In this epidemiologic scenario, one of the most important targets of 21st century nephrology will be the early diagnosis of chronic ischemic nephropathy and the development of new and more effective strategies for its treatment.Color Doppler (CD) ultrasonography has displayed high sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values in the diagnosis of this disease in selected population, making it an ideal tool for use in screening programs. Eligibility for screening should be based on clinical criteria. For the most part, it will be aimed at adults (especially those who are elderly) with atherosclerotic vascular disease involving multiple districts and chronic kidney disease (CKD), stage 2-3, in the absence of a documented history of renal disease. In these patients, hypertension may be a secondary manifestation or a symptom of the ischemic nephropathy itself. The objectives of sonographic screening should be (1) to identify subjects in the population at risk who are affected by stenosis of the main renal artery (RAS); (2) to identify and characterize patients without RAS who have chronic ischemic nephropathy caused by nephroangiosclerosis and/or atheroembolic disease. The former group will require second-level diagnostic studies or angioplasty with stenting; the latter can be managed conservatively. The most important CD parameters in the workup of suspected RAS are those that are direct signs, i.e., increases in peak systolic velocity (PSV) and diastolic velocity (DV), spectral broadening, and an altered renal:aortic ratio (RAR). Their assessment requires full-length sampling of the renal artery and is associated with greater practical/technical difficulties. Measurement in triplicate of the PSV in the ostial, medial, and hilar segments of both arteries and bilateral measurement of parenchymal resistance indices are usually sufficient to detect the presence of stenosis and refer the patient for second-level studies. Important parameters for estimating the severity of a stenosis include the renal:aortic ratio (>3.5), disappearance of the early systolic peak in segmental vessels, lateralization of the resistance index (ΔRI > 0.05), and the evaluation of the acceleration index (AI) and acceleration time (AT). Second-level imaging studies (CT angiography, MR angiography) are still indispensable for precise definition of the location and extension of the stenosis and the therapeutic approach during digital subtraction angiography (DSA). In the absence of direct or indirect signs of RAS, increases in the intraparenchymal resistance indices (RI > 0.75-0.80; PI > 1.50) associated with systemic atherosclerotic disease are indicative of microcirculatory damage related to nephroangiosclerosis or atheroembolic disease.Journal of Ultrasound 06/2008; 11(2):55-73.