Fibromuscular dysplasia of the main renal arteries: comparison of contrast-enhanced MR angiography with digital subtraction angiography

Radiology. 2006 Dec;241(3):922-9. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2413050149. Epub 2006 Oct 19.


Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiography by using digital subtraction angiography as the reference standard in patients with hypertension and renal artery fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).

Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained, with waiver of informed consent. The results of renal contrast-enhanced MR angiography were retrospectively analyzed in 25 patients with hypertension (24 women, one man; mean age, 48 years +/- 19 [standard deviation]; age range, 18-72 years) who had FMD diagnosed on the basis of clinical and angiographic features. All examinations were performed at 1.5 T. Results were analyzed by two readers, and a third reader established a consensus in case of discrepancy. Sensitivity, specificity, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for FMD and for each possible type of FMD lesion ("string of pearls" appearance, stenosis, and aneurysm). A linear-weighted kappa statistic was calculated to determine agreement between digital subtraction angiography and contrast-enhanced MR angiography for the diagnosis of FMD and to determine inter- and intraobserver agreement regarding FMD diagnosis.

Results: Fifty main renal arteries were analyzed, 35 of which demonstrated abnormal arteriographic features of FMD (stenosis, 22 arteries; string of pearls, 21 arteries; and aneurysm, four arteries). The sensitivity and specificity of contrast-enhanced MR angiography for the diagnosis of FMD were 97% (95% CI: 83%, 100%) and 93% (95% CI: 66%, 100%), respectively. Sensitivity was 68% (95% CI: 83%, 100%), 95% (95% CI: 74%, 100%), and 100% (95% CI: 40%, 100%) for the diagnosis of stenosis, string of pearls, and aneurysm, respectively. Linear-weighted kappa statistics for inter- and intraobserver agreement regarding FMD diagnosis were 0.63 and 0.92, respectively.

Conclusion: In patients with renal FMD, contrast-enhanced MR angiography can reliably facilitate diagnosis by demonstrating characteristic lesions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction / methods*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Meglumine
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Renal Artery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Meglumine
  • gadoterate meglumine