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MRI is an extremely flexible imaging technique offering contrast through a wide variety of mechanisms. It plays a major role in the assessment of renal and urological disease, and its contribution has increased over the last few years. In patients with renovascular disease MRI has been used principally to assess the proximal vasculature by MR angiography (MRA), but it also has the potential to assess renal function. This may considerably benefit animal studies as well as patients by reducing the need for additional studies and allowing a single MRI examination to be used for a comprehensive evaluation of renal function in the regions of interest.

In small animals we routinely perform structural and morphological MR imaging at 200-micron isotropic resolution and have achieved in-plane resolution as low as 130 microns in very reasonable imaging times. Functional and physiological data are obtained through, among others; blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). A brief summary and examples of our preliminary results using these techniques for kidney function assessment are considered below.


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Last updated on 2013-11-06 Moderated by Takamune Takahashi