Renal arterial blood flow measurement by breath-held MRI: Accuracy in phantom scans and Reproducibility in healthy subjects

Samuel Dambreville, Arlene B. Chapman, Vicente E. Torres, Bernard F. King, Ashley K. Wallin, David H. Frakes, Ajit P. Yoganathan, Sameera R. Wijayawardana, Kirk Easley, Kyongtae T. Bae, Marijn E. Brummer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study evaluates reliability of current technology for measurement of renal arterial blood flow by breath-held velocityencoded MRI. Overall accuracy was determined by comparing MRI measurements with known flow in controlled-flow-loop phantom studies. Measurements using prospective and retrospective gating methods were compared in phantom studies with pulsatile flow, not revealing significant differences. Phantom study results showed good accuracy, with deviations from true flow consistently below 13% for vessel diameters 3mm and above. Reproducibility in human subjects was evaluated by repeated studies in six healthy control subjects, comparing immediate repetition of the scan, repetition of the scan plane scouting, and week-to-week variation in repeated studies. The standard deviation in the 4-week protocol of repeated in vivo measurements of single-kidney renal flow in normal subjects was 59.7 mL/min, corresponding with an average coefficient of variation of 10.55%. Comparison of renal arterial blood flow reproducibility with and without gadolinium contrast showed no significant differences in mean or standard deviation. A breakdown among error components showed corresponding marginal standard deviations (coefficients of variation) 23.8 mL/min (4.21%) for immediate repetition of the breath-held flow scan, 39.13 mL/min (6.90%) for repeated plane scouting, and 40.76 mL/min (7.20%) for weekly fluctuations in renal blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-950
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Flow validation
  • Kidney imaging
  • Phase velocity imaging
  • Quantitative flow
  • Renal blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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