[Renal elastography]

2016 Nephrologie & therapeutique 12 Suppl 1;(S25-34)

Renal elastography has become available with the development of noninvasive quantitative techniques (including shear-wave elastography), following the rapidly growing field of diagnosis and quantification of liver fibrosis, which has a demonstrated major clinical impact. Ultrasound or even magnetic resonance techniques are leaving the pure research area to reach the routine clinical use. With the increased incidence of chronic kidney disease and its specific morbidity and mortality, the noninvasive diagnosis of renal fibrosis can be of critical value. However, it is difficult to simply extend the application from one organ to the other due to a large number of anatomical and technical issues. Indeed, the kidney exhibits various features that make stiffness assessment more complex, such as the presence of various tissue types (cortex, medulla), high spatial orientation (anisotropy), local blood flow, fatty sinus with variable volume and echotexture, perirenal space with variable fatty content, and the variable depth of the organ. Furthermore, the stiffness changes of the renal parenchyma are not exclusively related to fibrosis, as renal perfusion or hydronephrosis will impact the local elasticity. Renal elastography might be able to diagnose acute or chronic obstruction, or to renal tumor or pseudotumor characterization. Today, renal elastography appears as a promising application that still requires optimization and validation, which is the contrary for liver stiffness assessment.

Pubmed : 26976058