This is a review of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI as applied to the kidney. It has been shown that BOLD MRI measurements reflect changes in renal oxygenation, especially in the medulla. Renal medulla functions in a hypoxic milieu and is extremely sensitive to further decrease in blood flow or increase in oxygen consumption. Availability of a non-invasive technique such as BOLD MRI should allow for better understanding of the factors involved in the maintenance of renal oxygenation status, not only in animal models, but also in humans.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.