Intrarenal fat deposition does not interfere with the measurement of single-kidney perfusion in obese swine using multi-detector computed tomography

Christopher M. Ferguson, Alfonso Eirin, Gregory J. Michalak, Ahmad F. Hedayat, Abdelrhman Abumoawad, Ahmed Saad, Xiangyang Zhu, Stephen C. Textor, Cynthia H. McCollough, Lilach O. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Altered vascular structure or function in several diseases may impair renal perfusion. Multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) is a non-invasive tool to assess single-kidney perfusion and function based on dynamic changes in tissue attenuation during contrast media transit. However, changes in basal tissue attenuation might hamper these assessments, despite background subtraction. Evaluation of iodine concentration using the dual-energy (DECT) MDCT mode allows excluding effects of basal values on dynamic changes in tissue attenuation. We tested whether decreased basal kidney attenuation secondary to intrarenal fat deposition in swine obesity interferes with assessment of renal perfusion using MDCT. Methods: Domestic pigs were fed a standard (lean) or a high-cholesterol/carbohydrate (obese) diet (n = 5 each) for 16 weeks, and both kidneys were then imaged using MDCT/DECT after iodinated contrast injection. DECT images were post-processed to generate iodine and virtual-non-contrast (VNC) datasets, and the MDCT kidney/aorta CT number (following background subtraction) and DECT iodine ratios calculated during the peak vascular phase as surrogates of renal perfusion. Intrarenal fat was subsequently assessed with Oil-Red-O staining. Results: VNC maps in obese pigs revealed decreased basal cortical attenuation, and histology confirmed increased renal tissue fat deposition. Nevertheless, the kidney/aorta attenuation and iodine ratios remained similar, and unchanged compared to lean pigs. Conclusions: Despite decreased basal attenuation secondary to renal adiposity, background subtraction allows adequate assessment of kidney perfusion in obese pigs using MDCT. These observations support the feasibility of renal perfusion assessment in obese subjects using MDCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Dual-energy computed tomography
  • Intrarenal fat
  • Iodine maps
  • Obesity
  • Renal perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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