Renal BOLD-MRI does not reflect renal function in chronic kidney disease

Kidney Int. 2012 Apr;81(7):684-9. doi: 10.1038/ki.2011.455. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Renal blood oxygen level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-MRI) is a noninvasive fast technique to characterize renal function. Here we evaluated the impact of renal function on the relaxation rate (R2(*)) in the cortex and medulla to provide baseline data for further use of renal BOLD-MRI. This parameter was evaluated in 400 patients scheduled for abdominal imaging who underwent transversal blood oxygen level-dependent measurements with a multi-echo gradient-echo sequence with 12 echo times. The loss of phase coherence (T2(*)) maps were generated in which kidney regions of interest were selected to differentiate the medulla and cortex, and R2(*) was equated to 1/T2(*). Individual R2(*) values were, in turn, correlated to the eGFR (MDRD formula of 280 patients with available serum creatinine measurements), age, and gender each for 1.5 and 3.0 T field-strength scans of 342 patients. At both the field strengths, no significant differences in R2(*) of the cortex and medulla were found between patient gender, age, eGFR, or between different stages of chronic kidney disease determined using the KDOQI system. Thus, BOLD-MRI of a non-specific patient population failed to discriminate between the patients with various stages of chronic kidney disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Cortex / physiopathology
  • Kidney Function Tests / methods*
  • Kidney Medulla / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / blood
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult


  • Creatinine
  • Oxygen