What are the roles of MRI and MRA in the workup for chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is very useful in patients who would otherwise undergo a CT scan but who cannot receive IV contrast. This imaging modality is reliable in the diagnosis of renal vein thrombosis, as are CT scanning and renal venography.

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is becoming more useful for the diagnosis of renal artery stenosis, although renal arteriography remains the criterion standard. However, MRI contrast is problematic in patients with existing chronic kidney disease (CKD) because they have a low, but potentially fatal, risk of developing nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.


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