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Il Giornale Italiano di Radiologia Medica 2018 Novembre-Dicembre;5(6):816-21

DOI: 10.23736/S2283-8376.18.00135-3

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Role of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography in the diagnostic imaging of the transplanted kidney

Filippo BONATO 1 , Giuseppe COMO 1, Gian L. ADANI 2, Andrea RISALITI 2, Rossano GIROMETTI 1, Chiara ZUIANI 1

1 Istituto di Radiologia, Dipartimento di Area Medica, Università di Udine, Udine, Italia; 2 Clinica Chirurgica, Dipartimento di Area Medica, Università di Udine, Udine, Italia


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Kidney transplantation represents the treatment of choice for end-stage kidney disease. Despite the progress of immunosuppressive therapy guarantees excellent survival, it remains burdened, in a not uncommon number of cases, by post-transplantation complications. Conventional ultrasonography represents the first level imaging technique, thanks to its rapidity and availability, but it provides only morphological information with a poor functional evaluation of the graft. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging represent the gold standard for the diagnosis of renal post-transplant complications, but they are expensive and often not usable in patients who recently underwent a kidney transplant due to the limited functionality of the renal graft. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS), in addition to the morphological information obtained from the conventional ultrasonography examination, provides a functional evaluation of the renal parenchyma and the microcirculation and improves detection of focal lesions in the renal graft. CEUS is a simple, rapid and cheap technique, available at the patient’s bedside and it uses a non-nephrotoxic contrast media, making it not contraindicated in case of renal failure, placing itself as an ideal imaging method for the study in patients who underwent a renal transplant. CEUS, in integration with other imaging techniques (conventional ultrasonography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging), can play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of complications in the transplanted kidney, in order to guarantee the most appropriate treatment.


KEY WORDS: Ultrasonography - Contrast media - Kidney transplantation - Complications

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