Public Release: 

4-MDCT 'excellent technique' for evaluating kidney donors

American College of Radiology

3D four-slice multidetector computed tomography (4-MDCT) shows exquisite anatomical detail in evaluating kidney donors, says a new study by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

In the study, 94 kidney donors underwent 4-MDCT for preoperative work-up of kidney vascular anatomy, which is critical in the selection of both living kidney donors and the surgical technique used for removing the kidney graft. After the work-up, a total of 94 kidneys were harvested from these donors. The study found that, overall, the 4-MDCT results correlated accurately with surgical findings in 88 of the cases (93%). For renal veins specifically, which drain blood from the kidney, the results correlated in 91 of the 94 cases (96%).

According to the study's authors, the information that 4-MDCT can supply is vital to a transplant operation. "Renal transplantation is the only hope for patients with end-stage renal disease. Because of the scarceness of kidney grafts, the use of living kidney donors is being popularized over cadaveric kidney transplantation. It is extremely important for the surgeon to know the number of arteries supplying and veins draining each kidney, as well as variations in the anatomy, prior to kidney transplantation. Failure to recognize variations beforehand may result in unexpected complications and jeopardize the outcome of the kidney graft," said Dushyant Sahani, MD, one of the authors of the study.

According to the authors, besides reducing surgical complications, 4-MDCT has a number of advantages over conventional imaging techniques. Those advantages include that 4-MDCT is quicker, noninvasive, more comfortable for the patient, and provides greater volume coverage.

Concluded Dr. Sahani, "The practical answer is that 4-MDCT is an excellent technique for evaluating living kidney donors."

Dr. Sahani will present the study on May 3 during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL.


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