Evaluation of Renal Blood Flow and Oxygenation in CKD Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Am J Kidney Dis. 2015 Sep;66(3):402-11. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2014.11.022. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Abstract

Background: Animal studies suggest that progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is related to renal hypoxia. With renal blood supply determining oxygen delivery and sodium absorption being the main contributor to oxygen consumption, we describe the relationship between renal oxygenation, renal artery blood flow, and sodium absorption in patients with CKD and healthy controls.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting & participants: 62 stable patients with CKD stages 3 to 4 (mean age, 61±13 [SD] years) and 24 age- and sex-matched controls.

Predictors: CKD versus control status.

Outcomes: Renal artery blood flow, tissue oxygenation (relative changes in deoxyhemoglobin concentration of the renal medulla [MR2*] and cortex [CR2*]), and sodium absorption.

Measurements: Renal artery blood flow was determined by phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); MR2* and CR2* were determined by blood oxygen level-dependent MRI. Ultrafiltered and reabsorbed sodium were determined from measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) and 24-hour urine collections.

Results: mGFR in patients was 37% that of controls (36±15 vs 97±23 mL/min/1.73 m(2); P < 0.001), and reabsorbed sodium was 37% that of controls (6.9 vs 19.1 mol/24 h; P < 0.001). Single-kidney patient renal artery blood flow was 72% that of controls (319 vs 443 mL/min; P < 0.001). Glomerular filtration fraction was 9% in patients and 18% in controls (P < 0.001). Patients and controls had similar CR2* (13.4 vs 13.3 s(-1)) and medullary MR2* (26.4 vs 26.5 s(-1)) values. Linear regression analysis demonstrated no associations between R2* and renal artery blood flow or sodium absorption. Increasing arterial blood oxygen tension by breathing 100% oxygen had very small effects on CR2*, but reduced MR2* in both groups.

Limitations: Only renal artery blood flow was determined and thus regional perfusion could not be related to CR2* or MR2*.

Conclusions: In CKD, reductions of mGFR and reabsorbed sodium are more than double that of renal artery blood flow, whereas cortical and medullary oxygenation are within the range of healthy persons. Reduction in glomerular filtration fraction may prevent renal hypoxia in CKD.

Keywords: Renal hypoxia; blood oxygen level−dependent (BOLD) MRI; chronic kidney disease (CKD); glomerular filtration rate (GFR); kidney disease progression; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); renal artery blood flow; renal tissue oxygenation; sodium absorption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Renal Reabsorption / physiology*
  • Sodium / metabolism*

Substances

  • Sodium
  • Oxygen