Nephrocalcinosis in rabbits--correlation of ultrasound, computed tomography, pathology and renal function

Pediatr Radiol. 1998 Jan;28(1):9-13. doi: 10.1007/s002470050283.


Objective. The purpose of this study was to induce nephrocalcinosis (NC) in rabbits with phosphate, vitamin D, oxalate and furosemide, to determine the effect on renal function and to correlate detection on ultrasound (US) and computed tomography (CT) with pathology. Materials and methods. Seventy-five immature New Zealand white rabbits were divided into five groups of 15. In each group, 5 animals were controls and 10 were given oral phosphate, furosemide, vitamin D or oxalate. Unilateral nephrectomy was performed at 3-6 weeks, and 5 rabbits of each test group were withdrawn from the substance. Weekly US was performed as well as US, CT and measurement of serum creatinine at the time of nephrectomy and prior to planned demise. Results. A total of 140 kidneys in 75 rabbits had both pathological and US correlation, with CT correlation in 126. Forty rabbits developed nephrocalcinosis with early (post nephrectomy at 3-6 weeks) or late (post demise at 12-20 weeks) pathological correlation obtained in 53 kidneys. Forty-one of these kidneys were from test animals: 23 developed NC early, 18 late. Twelve controls developed NC: 4 early, 8 late. Comparing US and CT to pathology, the sensitivity was 96% for US, 64% for CT. Specificity was 85% for US and 96% for CT. In 109 kidneys, information on serum creatinine level was available to correlate with pathology. The mean creatinine level was 138 mmol/l for those with NC and 118 mmol/l for those without NC (P<0.001). Conclusion. In this study, the presence of NC was significantly associated with increasing serum creatinine. Overall, US was more sensitive and CT was more specific in the detection of NC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Furosemide
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Nephrocalcinosis / chemically induced
  • Nephrocalcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Nephrocalcinosis / pathology
  • Nephrocalcinosis / physiopathology*
  • Oxalates
  • Phosphates
  • Rabbits
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vitamin D


  • Oxalates
  • Phosphates
  • Vitamin D
  • Furosemide
  • Creatinine