Tracking kidney volume in mice with polycystic kidney disease by magnetic resonance imaging

Kidney Int. 2008 Mar;73(6):778-81. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2008 Jan 9.


Polycystic kidney disease is characterized by the progressive enlargement of kidneys due to expanding fluid-filled cysts with the rate of renal volume increase held to be a marker of disease progression. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to monitor changes in renal volume in patients with polycystic kidney disease; however, it has not been effectively used in mice to monitor changes in kidney volume during drug treatment studies. We used a powerful 9.4-T horizontal bore magnetic resonance scanner to track changes in kidney volume in pcy/pcy mice, an ortholog of nephronophthisis type 3. Mice were sequentially scanned from 4 to 30 weeks of age and kidney volumes determined from high-resolution images. Kidney volume and maximal cross-sectional surface area correlated positively with kidney weight and the histologic determination of surface area. The increase in kidney volume was exponential up to 20 weeks of age, after which there was a plateau consistent with the replacement of normal parenchyma by fibrotic tissue. Our study demonstrates that MRI accurately determines the rate of kidney volume increase in mice with polycystic kidney disease and hence may be useful in assessing the effectiveness of therapeutic agents to slow disease progression.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Organ Size
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / pathology*