Comparison of Ultrasound Corticomedullary Strain with Doppler Parameters in Assessment of Renal Allograft Interstitial Fibrosis/Tubular Atrophy
Elasticity Imaging Techniques
Kidney Cortex Necrosis
To compare the capability of ultrasound strain and Doppler parameters in the assessment of renal allograft interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy (IF/TA), we prospectively measured ultrasound corticomedullary strain (strain) and intra-renal artery Doppler end-diastolic velocity (EDV), peak systolic velocity (PSV) and resistive index (RI) in 45 renal transplant recipients before their kidney biopsies. We used 2-D speckle tracking to estimate strain, the deformation ratio of renal cortex to medulla produced by external compression using the ultrasound transducer. We also measured Doppler EDV, PSV and RI at the renal allograft inter-lobar artery. Using the Banff scoring system for renal allograft IF/TA, 45 patients were divided into the following groups: group 1 with ≤5% (n = 12) cortical IF/TA; group 2 with 6%-25% (n = 12); group 3 with 26%-50% (n = 11); and group 4 with >50% (n = 10). We performed receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to test the accuracy of these ultrasound parameters and duration of transplantation in determining >26% cortical IF/TA. In our results, strain was statistically significant in all paired groups (all p < 0.005) and inversely correlated with the grade of cortical IF/TA (p < 0.001). However, the difference in PSV and EDV was significant only between high-grade (>26%, including 26%-50% and >50%) and low-grade (≤25%, including <5% and 6%-25%) cortical IF/TA (p < 0.001). RI did not significantly differ in any paired group (all p > 0.05). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for strain, EDV, PSV, RI and duration of transplantation in determining >26% cortical IF/TA were 0.99, 0.94, 0.88, 0.52 and 0.92, respectively. Our results suggest that corticomedullary strain seems to be superior to Doppler parameters and duration of transplantation in assessment of renal allograft cortical IF/TA.