Quantification of renal blood flow with contrast-enhanced ultrasound

Kevin Wei, Elizabeth Le, Jian Ping Bin, Matthew Coggins, Jerrel Thorpe, Sanjiv Kaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to determine the ability of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) to quantify renal tissue perfusion. BACKGROUND: The kinetics of tracers used to assess renal perfusion are often complicated by countercurrent exchange, tubular transport or glomerular filtration. We hypothesized that, because gas-filled microbubbles are pure intravascular tracers with a rheology similar to that of red blood cells, CEU could be used to quantify renal tissue perfusion. METHODS: During a continuous venous infusion of microbubbles (SonoVue), regional renal perfusion was quantified in nine dogs using CEU by destroying microbubbles and measuring their tissue replenishment with intermittent harmonic imaging. Both renal blood volume fraction and microbubble velocity were derived from pulsing-interval versus video-intensity plots. The product of the two was used to calculate renal nutrient blood flow. Renal arterial blood flow was independently measured with ultrasonic flow probes placed directly on the renal artery and was increased using dopamine and decreased by placement of a renal artery stenosis. RESULTS: An excellent correlation was found between cortical nutrient blood flow using microbubbles and ultrasonic flow probe-derived renal blood flow (r = 0.82, p < 0.001) over a wide range (2.5 fold) of flows. CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound examination during microbubble infusion can be used to quantify total organ as well as regional nutrient blood flow to the kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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