Imaging

Renal Infarction

Preliminary Diagnosis: Renal Infarction

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis with IV contrast.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosing renal infarction.

Advantages

  • Most sensitive and specific imaging modality in detecting and characterizing a renal infarct.

  • Highly specific in characterizing the primary lesion and detecting any secondary complications, i.e., abscess, hemorrhage, ruptured kidney, and cyst formation.

  • May guide treatment and therapy.

  • Characterizes the surrounding soft tissues, osseous structures, and vasculature.

Disadvantages

  • Exposes patients to ionizing radiation.

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

CT imaging may be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

Gray scale, Color Doppler, and spectrum waveform analysis.

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosing renal infarction.

Advantages

  • Does not expose patients to ionizing radiation.

  • Highly portable.

  • Moderately sensitive and moderately specific in characterizing the kidney and kidney vasculature.

Disadvantages

  • Highly operator dependent.

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

No specific contraindications to ultrasound exist.

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