A prospective comparison of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and 51Cr-EDTA clearance for glomerular filtration rate measurement in 42 kidney transplant recipients

Eur J Radiol. 2019 Aug:117:209-215. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2019.02.002. Epub 2019 Feb 4.


Objectives: To evaluate the performance of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) compared with the reference standard technique of urinary clearance of 51Cr-EDTA.

Patients and methods: All kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) with an indication for non-urgent contrast-enhanced MRI at our institution were prospectively included between 2008 and 2012. Renographies were acquired by low-dose dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) then fitted with a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model. MR-GFR was compared with reference isotopic measurements using Bland-Altman diagrams, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and concordance rates.

Results: Forty-two KTRs (mean age 51.5 years, 26-74) were analyzed. Mean estimated GFR was 48.5 ± 27 mL/min/1.73m2 (24-178 mL/min). The mean bias was +13.2 mL/min (6.4-20.0, +36.9%) ranging from -31.0 mL/min (-41.7%) to +101.4 mL/min (+89.2%) with a large variability (standard-deviation: 22.3 mL/min; limits of agreement: [-30.6 (-43.3--18.9); +57.0 (45.3-68.7)]). The ICC was 0.32 (0.02-0.56) and the concordance rate was 28.6% (14.9-42.2).

Conclusions: The large variability of MR-GFR compared with the reference technique precludes its use in KTRs, whose anatomical peculiarities make standardization of arterial input function (AIF) difficult.

Keywords: Data accuracy; Functional MRI; Glomerular filtration rate; Kidney transplant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chromium Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Edetic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Function Tests / methods
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transplant Recipients*


  • Chromium Radioisotopes
  • Edetic Acid