Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre


Validation of contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for assessment of renal perfusion using arterial spin labelling MRI.

Funded by Kidney Research UK

Changes in kidney perfusion underlie a number of renal diseases, and in particular are fundamental to the development of acute kidney injury (AKI). At present, there are no methods for measuring renal perfusion in clinical practice. The development of a real-time, bedside method for measuring renal perfusion that could be performed serially would have important clinical applications.

Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging (ASL-MRI) provides a non-invasive measurement of renal perfusion in humans. Whilst MRI has huge potential across a range of kidney diseases, there are substantial logistical challenges in its use in acutely unwell people. Therefore, this project in collaboration with the Centre for Kidney Research and Innovation aims to develop contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) as an alternative, complimentary technique for real-time assessment of renal perfusion. CEUS does not involve ionising radiation, is relatively inexpensive, and uses microbubble contrast that is completely non-toxic to the kidneys. However, it has rarely been applied in people with kidney disease. We will establish the validity of CEUS to measure renal perfusion by comparing it against ASL-MRI in young and older healthy volunteers, chronic kidney disease patients, and generate a normative data set of CEUS measures of renal perfusion.CEUS