Quantitative imaging of renal blood flow and function

C. H. Lorenz, T. A. Powers, C. L. Partain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Noninvasive renal blood flow quantitation has been historically difficult, although radionuclide imaging methods for measuring related parameters of renal function such as glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow have been successful. Radionuclide methods have long played an important role in the evaluation of renal function, but recent advances in other modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have the potential to provide information not available with nuclear medicine techniques. The high spatial resolution provided by these modalities, coupled with dynamic imaging of contrast agents or radioactive tracers, potentially could allow detailed clinical evaluation of regional renal function and blood flow. A specialized MR technique, diffusion-weighted imaging, also shows promise for providing information not otherwise available concerning the renal microcirculation. This report provides a brief review of the available clinical techniques for the evaluation of renal blood flow and function as well as new methods under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • contrast media
  • diffusion
  • kidney
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • radionuclide methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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