SAN DIEGO—Contrast-enhanced sonography (CES) may enhance prediction of early allograft function after renal transplantation, researchers reported at Kidney Week 2012.

In a prospective study of 50 renal transplant recipients, German researchers compared CES and conventional color Doppler ultrasound (CDUS) at day 7 post-transplant. CES can assess microvascular tissue perfusion using gas-filled microbubbles. Compared with conventional CDUS resistance and pulsatility indices, renal blood flow estimated by CES was significantly related to kidney allograft function at day 90 and day 365. In addition, determination of renal blood flow by CES revealed a significant correlation between donor age but not recipient age, whereas conventional CDUS resistant index was significantly related to recipient age but not donor age.

The investigators, Lars Kihm, MD, and colleagues at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany, said their study is the first prospective investigation to demonstrate the prognostic value of CES early after renal transplantation. Unlike CDUS, CES provides information about kidney allograft perfusion independent of recipient vasculature, they noted.

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