To compare B-flow sonography (BFS) with color Doppler sonography (CDS) for imaging of kidney transplant vascularization in children.
All children receiving a kidney transplantation who underwent a protocol-based ultrasound examination (Loqiq 9, GE Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI, USA) using the BFS and CDS technique with equal settings and probe position between January 2013 and January 2016 were retrospectively assessed (n = 40). The obtained datasets were visually graded according to the following criteria: (I) delineation of the renal vascular tree (Grade 1 – clear demarcation of interlobar, together with arcuate and interlobular vessels; Grade 2 – clear demarcation of interlobar and cortical vessels, but no distinction of interlobular from arcuate vessels; Grade 3 – only clear demarcation of interlobar vessels, Grade 4 – insufficient demarcation) (II) delineation of cortical vessel density in ventral, lateral, and dorsal part of the transplant, (III) smallest vessel-capsule distance, and (IV) maximum cortical vessel count. Comparison between methods was performed using Fisher’s exact and paired sample t-tests.
Applying a curved transducer (C1-6), BFS showed superior delineation of the renal vascular tree (p < 0.001), a lower vessel-capsule distance (p < 0.001), a higher cortical vessel count (p < 0.001), and a higher cortical vessel density in the superficial cortex (p = 0.01) than CDS. In the dorsal and lateral aspects of the transplant, cortical vessel density was lower with BFS (both p < 0.001). Using a linear high-resolution transducer (ML 6-15), no significant differences between the methods were found.
Improved imaging of kidney transplant vascularization can be achieved in children by adding BFS to a standard protocol. The BFS technique is especially beneficial for overall assessment of the renal vascular tree together with the extent of cortical vascularization on curved array images.
· Depiction of vascular tree and ventral cortical vessels is improved by BFS.. · The dorso-lateral cortex was better represented with CDS because of higher penetration.. · Additional monitoring with BFS improves the monitoring of transplant viability..
· Dammann E, Groth M, Schild R et al. B-Flow Sonography vs. Color Doppler Sonography for the Assessment of Vascularity in Pediatric Kidney Transplantation. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2020; DOI: 10.1055/a-1167-8317.
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