At many institutions, magnetic resonance (MR) angiography is the technique of choice for assessment of the renal arteries and renal parenchyma in potential living kidney donors. The renal arteries and renal veins have a varied anatomy and may consist of one or more vessels at several levels with variable calibers and levels of branching. These findings may play an important role in the surgeon's decision about which kidney to harvest, especially if laparoscopic nephrectomy is used. A comprehensive MR imaging protocol is used at one hospital to assess the arteries, veins, parenchyma, and collecting system of the kidneys. The protocol includes T2-weighted single-shot fast spin-echo imaging, fat-saturated T2-weighted fast spin-echo imaging, three-dimensional MR angiography and MR venography, and delayed fat-saturated three-dimensional T1-weighted gradient-echo imaging. Meticulous assessment of the source images as well as images produced with various postprocessing methods, such as full maximum intensity projection, targeted maximum intensity projection, and axial and oblique reformation, allows detailed description of the vascular anatomy and its relationship to the collecting system and parenchyma to facilitate the surgeon's decision making. The findings of MR imaging are comparable with those of other imaging modalities.
- Kidney, MR, 81.1214
- Kidney, transplantation, 81.455
- Renal arteries, MR, 961.12942
- Renal veins, MR, 966.12942
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging