Kidney MRI is an instrumental study that allows noninvasive layered visualization of the urinary organs by exposing them to radio waves in an external magnetic field. MRI gives an idea of the topography and blood supply of the kidneys, the structure of the parenchyma, the functioning of the cup-pelvic system, the state of the perinephrine fiber. The study is prescribed in case of suspected abnormalities of the structure of the urinary system, tumor process, injuries of the kidneys and ureters, inflammatory diseases and other pathology (urolithiasis, hydronephrosis, kidney infarction, etc.). It can be performed in normal mode or in the mode of MRI angiography (with contrast).
MRI is used to diagnose malignant and benign kidney tumors. At the same time, kidney MRI with the introduction of a contrast agent is of great value. The procedure makes it possible not only to identify neoplasms, but also to establish the degree of development of the pathological process, to determine the spread of metastases to nearby organs. Only MRI can detect the pseudocapsule of the neoplasm. Such information is extremely necessary if we are talking about the surgical treatment of kidney cancer with the possible preservation of the organ. Also, the technique determines cystic formations and the spread of metastases with high accuracy.
Kidney MRI shows:
- the size of the cerebral and cortical layers;
- the location of the anatomical structures of the organ;
- possible involvement of feeding vessels in the pathological process.
The study is used in the treatment of various inflammatory and degenerative processes of the kidneys in order to analyze the effectiveness of the therapy. Kidney MRI is prescribed to patients in the presence of contraindications to X-ray, urography, in case of ineffectiveness of CT, ultrasound scanning. Additionally, during the examination, the diagnostician can detect diseases of the urinary tract, in particular, the ureters. It is shown that magnetic resonance imaging is performed in endocrine pathologies (in case of adrenal dysfunction), malignant course of hypertension. With the help of kidney MRI, it is possible to establish traumatic injuries, confirm organ abscess, urolithiasis, congenital anomalies of the structure.
An indication for the study is the presence of pain of unclear etiology in the patient’s lower back or kidney projection area, which has been observed for a long time, accompanied by pathological changes in urine analysis, in particular, an increase in specific gravity. MRI allows you to determine the cause of renal colic, persistent headaches, fever. Chills, dizziness attacks, swelling of soft tissues are also indications for this study, since such symptoms may indicate a violation of the excretory function of the organ.
An absolute contraindication to kidney MRI is the presence of electronic and metal devices in the patient – pacemakers, insulin pumps, vascular clips, fragments, implants. Their interaction with magnetic waves can cause the development of dangerous conditions for the patient, in particular, bleeding, a sharp change in blood glucose levels, disorders of the cardiovascular system.
Relative contraindications to the procedure are the first trimester of pregnancy and lactation, claustrophobia, the patient’s body weight is over 130-140 kg. Diagnostic manipulation is not performed for epilepsy, mental illnesses, however, if necessary, kidney MRI against the background of these conditions can be performed with the use of general anesthesia. With caution, the technique is prescribed to patients with chronic pathologies in the decompensation stage.
When performing an kidney MRI with the introduction of a contrast agent, the list of contraindications expands. This type of procedure should not be carried out to persons suffering from allergies to the drug used, in the presence of bronchial asthma, as this can provoke an attack of suffocation. The contrast method of diagnosis is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, in case of detection of renal insufficiency. Sometimes specialists allow women to be manipulated during breastfeeding, but in such a situation, after the study, it is necessary to transfer the baby to artificial nutrition for 2 days.
Before performing an kidney MRI with the use of a contrast agent, an assessment of the functionality of the kidneys is necessarily carried out, since it is on them that the load falls regarding the removal of the drug from the body. If MRI is performed natively, special preparation is not needed the day before. With the contrast method, patients are recommended to exclude the use of food and liquids 5 hours before the manipulation. Additionally, on the eve of the study, a test is carried out for sensitivity to a contrast agent in order to exclude the possible development of an allergic reaction.
At the time of the procedure, the patient should wear underwear made of natural fabric. Before the study, you need to remove all metal objects – earrings, rings, a hearing aid, removable dentures. Personal belongings, including keys, mobile phone, bank cards, etc., should be left with the operator. Bringing these items into the cabinet where the manipulation is carried out can lead to distortion of the result due to the interaction of magnetic waves with metal.
Methodology of conducting
Before starting the study, the patient lies down on a couch, which is placed inside the capsule of a special device – a tomograph. The device can be closed or open type. In the first case, the patient is completely inside the capsule, in the second – only the trunk. At the time of examination, the device makes sounds, they should not be frightened. To exclude such a reaction, it is allowed to use earplugs. A prerequisite for the implementation of kidney MRI is complete immobility of the patient. It is important to remain calm and breathe evenly, as any movements can lead to image distortion. If the manipulation involves the use of a contrast agent, the drug is administered intravenously. In general, the procedure lasts no more than 30 minutes.
Based on the images obtained, the diagnostician draws conclusions about the functionality of the kidneys, their size, the presence or absence of deviations from the norm. All data is recorded in writing and given to the patient 2 hours after the study. In some clinics, the results should be collected the next day. Together with the written conclusion, the patient receives the pictures taken. The patient must provide all materials to the attending physician, who will determine the final diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment.