Non-contrast-enhanced imaging of haemodialysis fistulas using quiescent-interval single-shot (QISS) MRA: a feasibility study

Clin Radiol. 2016 Mar;71(3):244-9. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2015.11.010. Epub 2015 Dec 28.


Aim: To assess the efficiency of a novel quiescent-interval single-shot (QISS) technique for non-contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) of haemodialysis fistulas.

Materials and methods: QISS MRA and colour Doppler ultrasound (CDU) images were obtained from 22 haemodialysis patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). A radiologist with extensive experience in vascular imaging initially assessed the fistulas using CDU. Two observers analysed each QISS MRA data set in terms of image quality, using a five-point scale ranging from 0 (non-diagnostic) to 4 (excellent), and lumen diameters of all segments were measured.

Results: One hundred vascular segments were analysed for QISS MRA. Two anastomosis segments were considered non-diagnostic. None of the arterial or venous segments were evaluated as non-diagnostic. The image quality was poorer for the anastomosis level compared to the other segments (p<0.001 for arterial segments, and p<0.05 for venous segments), while no significant difference was determined for other vascular segments.

Conclusion: QISS MRA has the potential to provide valuable complementary information to CDU regarding the imaging of haemodialysis fistulas. In addition, QISS non-enhanced MRA represents an alternative for assessment of haemodialysis fistulas, in which the administration of iodinated or gadolinium-based contrast agents is contraindicated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color