Chronic kidney disease: Pathological and functional evaluation with intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2018 May;47(5):1251-1259. doi: 10.1002/jmri.25861. Epub 2017 Sep 21.


Background: Because chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide problem, accurate pathological and functional evaluation is required for planning treatment and follow-up. Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging (IVIM-DWI) can assess both capillary perfusion and tissue diffusion and may be helpful in evaluating renal function and pathology.

Purpose: To evaluate functional and pathological alterations in CKD by applying IVIM-DWI.

Study type: Prospective study.

Subjects: In all, 72 CKD patients who required renal biopsy and 20 healthy volunteers.

Field strength: 1.5T.

Assessment: All subjects underwent IVIM-DWI of the kidneys, and image analysis was performed by two radiologists. The mean values of true diffusion coefficient (D), pseudo diffusion coefficient (D*), and perfusion fraction (f) were acquired from renal parenchyma. Correlation between IVIM-DWI parameters and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), as well as pathological damage, were assessed.

Statistical tests: One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), paired sample t-test and Spearman correlation analysis.

Results: The paired sample t-test revealed that IVIM-DWI parameters were significantly lower in medulla than cortex for both patients and controls (P < 0.01). Regardless of whether eGFR was reduced, ANOVA revealed that f values of renal parenchyma were significantly lower in patients than controls (P < 0.05). Spearman correlation analysis revealed that there were positive correlations between eGFR and D (cortex, r = 0.466, P < 0.001; medulla, r = 0.491, P < 0.001), and between eGFR and f (cortex, r = 0.713, P < 0.001; medulla, r = 0.512, P < 0.001). Negative correlations were found between f and glomerular injury (cortex, r = -0.773, P < 0.001; medulla, r = -0.629, P < 0.001), and between f and tubulointerstitial lesion (cortex, r = -0.728, P < 0.001; medulla, r = -0.547, P < 0.001).

Data conclusion: IVIM-DWI might be feasible for noninvasive evaluation of renal function and pathology of CKD, especially in detection of renal insufficiency at an early stage.

Level of evidence: 1 Technical Efficacy: Stage 3 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018;47:1251-1259.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease; intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; renal function; renal pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Capillaries / pathology*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion
  • Perfusion*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology*
  • Young Adult