Noninvasive measurement of concurrent single-kidney perfusion, glomerular filtration, and tubular function

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2001 Oct;281(4):F630-8. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.2001.281.4.F630.


To assess the reliability of electron beam computed tomography (EBCT), measurements of single-kidney renal blood flow (RBF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and intratubular contrast medium concentration (ITC) of radiographic contrast media were quantified in anesthetized pigs before and after acetylcholine-induced vasodilation and diuresis. EBCT measurements were compared with those obtained with intravascular Doppler and inulin clearance. The capability of EBCT to detect chronic changes in single-kidney function was evaluated in pigs with unilateral renal artery stenosis, and their long-term reproducibility in normal pigs was studied repeatedly at 1-mo intervals. EBCT-RBF (ml/min) correlated with Doppler-RBF as RBF(EBCT) = 45 + 1.07 * RBF(Doppler), r = 0.81. EBCT-GFR (ml/min) correlated with inulin clearance as GFR(EBCT) = 11.7 + 1.02 * GFR(inulin), r = 0.80. During vasodilation, RBF and GFR increased, whereas ITC decreased along the nephron. In renal artery stenosis, single-kidney GFR decreased linearly with the degree of stenosis, and ITC increased along the nephron, indicating increased fluid reabsorption. EBCT-RBF, GFR, and ITC were similar among repeated measurements. This approach might be invaluable for simultaneous quantification of regional hemodynamics and function in the intact kidneys, in a manner potentially applicable to humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Inulin / pharmacokinetics
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Kidney Tubules / physiology*
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Renal Circulation / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Swine
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Inulin