Rationale and objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate our preliminary experience with routine contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) of the lower limb arteries in patients with end-stage renal failure.
Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on clinical, physiological, and imaging data for 104 patients with end-stage renal failure. Patients were considered to be in end-stage renal failure if they were on renal replacement therapy (peritoneal or hemodialysis) or were being evaluated as part of a pretransplant workup. CE-MRA was carried out on a 1.5-T scanner using a single-injection, three-station moving table technique.
Results: Eleven percent of asymptomatic patients with normal ankle/brachial pressure indexes (ABPI) were found to have severe arterial disease on CE-MRA, and in 30% of asymptomatic patients with abnormal ABPI, CE-MRA showed mild or no disease. Moreover two of three symptomatic patients with normal ABPI were shown to have severe disease. Two patients on peritoneal dialysis had to be switched to hemodialysis. No other adverse events were revealed.
Conclusion: CE-MRA is a useful adjunct to clinical and physiological examination for the evaluation of the lower limb arteries in a group of patients who have a higher-than-average incidence of peripheral vascular disease, yet have previously been severely restricted from traditional angiography because of contrast-medium-induced nephrotoxicity.