MRI can provide excellent detail of renal structure and function. Recently, novel MR contrast mechanisms and imaging tools have been developed to evaluate microscopic kidney structures including the tubules and glomeruli. Quantitative MRI can assess local tubular function and is able to determine the kidney's concentrating mechanism non-invasively in real time. Measuring single nephron function is now a near possibility. In parallel to advancing imaging techniques for kidney microstructure is a need to carefully understand the relationship between the local source of MRI contrast and the underlying physiological change. The development of these imaging markers can impact the accurate diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease. This article reviews the novel tools to examine kidney microstructure and local function, and demonstrates the application of these methods in renal pathophysiology.
- magnetic resonance imaging
- quantitative susceptibility mapping
- susceptibility tensor imaging
- cationized ferritin enhanced
- glomeruli and nephron microstructure
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology