The team from CKRI has been awarded a prestigious research grant from Kidney Research UK, to study new methods of assessing kidney blood flow in patients with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). Dr Nick Selby and Professor Maarten Taal (CKRI) are collaborating with Professor Sue Francis from the Sir Peter Mansfield imaging centre and Dr John Williams and Dr Beth Phillips from the Clinical, Metabolic and Molecular Physiology research group. This work will build upon previous studies involving multiparametric renal MRI and clinical studies in people with AKI. We hope that this grant will accelerate new ways of monitoring patients that will lead to improvements in their treatment.
The kidney has an extremely high blood flow, as a quarter of the blood that is pumped by the heart goes to the kidneys. Some of this blood flow is needed to keep the kidneys healthy by delivering oxygen and nutrients; this delivery of the blood to the kidney is called ‘perfusion’. We know that many forms of kidney disease involve a fall in kidney perfusion. In particular, reduced kidney perfusion is a common cause of a sudden reduction in kidney function, called Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).
We are performing a research project to test whether a new method of assessing kidney perfusion can improve care for people with AKI. This project is supported by a grant from Kidney Research UK. There are two stages to this project. In the first stage, we will test whether Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS) can accurately measure renal perfusion. We will do that by comparing it with the gold standard method using MRI scanning (ASL-MRI) in healthy volunteers and people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In the second stage, we will perform CEUS in patients who are in hospital and have severe AKI. We aim to find out if this new type of ultrasound scan, CEUS) is a reasonable method to measure kidney perfusion and secondly, if CEUS is useful in patients with AKI. Results from this research will pave the way for the future use of CEUS for the care of patients with kidney disease.
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