Determinants of renal tissue oxygenation as measured with BOLD-MRI in chronic kidney disease and hypertension in humans.
ABSTRACT: Experimentally renal tissue hypoxia appears to play an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and arterial hypertension (AHT). In this study we measured renal tissue oxygenation and its determinants in humans using blood oxygenation level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-MRI) under standardized hydration conditions. Four coronal slices were selected, and a multi gradient echo sequence was used to acquire T2* weighted images. The mean cortical and medullary R2* values (?=?1/T2*) were calculated before and after administration of IV furosemide, a low R2* indicating a high tissue oxygenation. We studied 195 subjects (95 CKD, 58 treated AHT, and 42 healthy controls). Mean cortical R2 and medullary R2* were not significantly different between the groups at baseline. In stimulated conditions (furosemide injection), the decrease in R2* was significantly blunted in patients with CKD and AHT. In multivariate linear regression analyses, neither cortical nor medullary R2* were associated with eGFR or blood pressure, but cortical R2* correlated positively with male gender, blood glucose and uric acid levels. In conclusion, our data show that kidney oxygenation is tightly regulated in CKD and hypertensive patients at rest. However, the metabolic response to acute changes in sodium transport is altered in CKD and in AHT, despite preserved renal function in the latter group. This suggests the presence of early renal metabolic alterations in hypertension. The correlations between cortical R2* values, male gender, glycemia and uric acid levels suggest that these factors interfere with the regulation of renal tissue oxygenation.
Project description:The current clinical classification of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not perfect and may be overestimating both the prevalence and the risk for progressive disease. Novel markers are being sought to identify those at risk of progression. This preliminary study evaluates the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging based markers to identify early changes in CKD.Fifty-nine subjects (22 healthy, 7 anemics with no renal disease, 30 subjects with CKD) participated. Data using 3D volume imaging, blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) and Diffusion MRI was acquired. BOLD MRI acquisition was repeated after 20 mg of iv furosemide.Compared to healthy subjects, those with CKD have lower renal parenchymal volumes (329.6±66.4 vs. 257.1±87.0 ml, p<0.005), higher cortical R2* values (19.7±3.2 vs. 23.2±6.3 s(-1), p = 0.013) (suggesting higher levels of hypoxia) and lower response to furosemide on medullary R2* (6.9±3.3 vs. 3.1±7.5 s(-1), p = 0.02). All three parameters showed significant correlation with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). When the groups were matched for age and sex, cortical R2* and kidney volume still showed significant differences between CKD and healthy controls. The most interesting observation is that a small number of subjects (8 of 29) contributed to the increase in mean value observed in CKD. The difference in cortical R2* between these subjects compared to the rest were highly significant and had a large effect size (Cohen's d = 3.5). While highly suggestive, future studies may be necessary to verify if such higher levels of hypoxia are indicative of progressive disease. Diffusion MRI showed no differences between CKD and healthy controls.These data demonstrate that BOLD MRI can be used to identify enhanced hypoxia associated with CKD and the preliminary observations are consistent with the chronic hypoxia model for disease progression in CKD. Longitudinal studies are warranted to further verify these findings and assess their predictive value.
Project description:Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis has a range of manifestations depending on the severity of vascular occlusion. The aim of this study was to examine whether exceeding the limits of adaptation to reduced blood flow ultimately leads to tissue hypoxia, as determined by blood oxygen level dependent MRI. We compared 3 groups of hypertensive patients, 24 with essential hypertension, 13 with "moderate" (Doppler velocities 200-384 cm/s), and 17 with "severe" atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS; velocities >384 cm/s and loss of functional renal tissue). Cortical and medullary blood flows and volumes were determined by multidetector computed tomography. Poststenotic kidney size and blood flow were reduced with ARAS, and tissue perfusion fell in the most severe lesions. Tissue medullary deoxyhemoglobin, as reflected by R2* values, was higher as compared with the cortex for all of the groups and did not differ between subjects with renal artery lesions and essential hypertension. By contrast, cortical R2* levels were elevated for severe ARAS (21.6±9.4 per second) as compared with either essential hypertension (17.8±2.3 per second; P<0.01) or moderate ARAS (15.7±2.1 per second; P<0.01). Changes in medullary R2* after furosemide administration tended to be blunted in severe ARAS as compared with unaffected (contralateral) kidneys. These results demonstrate that severe vascular occlusion overwhelms the capacity of the kidney to adapt to reduced blood flow, manifest as overt cortical hypoxia as measured by blood oxygen level-dependent MRI. The level of cortical hypoxia is out of proportion to the medulla and may provide a marker to identify irreversible parenchymal injury.
Project description:Tissue hypoxia plays a key role in the development and progression of many kidney diseases. Blood oxygenation level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-MRI) is the most promising imaging technique to monitor renal tissue oxygenation in humans. BOLD-MRI measures renal tissue deoxyhaemoglobin levels voxel by voxel. Increases in its outcome measure R2* (transverse relaxation rate expressed as per second) correspond to higher deoxyhaemoglobin concentrations and suggest lower oxygenation, whereas decreases in R2* indicate higher oxygenation. BOLD-MRI has been validated against micropuncture techniques in animals. Its reproducibility has been demonstrated in humans, provided that physiological and technical conditions are standardized. BOLD-MRI has shown that patients suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidneys with severe renal artery stenosis have lower tissue oxygenation than controls. Additionally, CKD patients with the lowest cortical oxygenation have the worst renal outcome. Finally, BOLD-MRI has been used to assess the influence of drugs on renal tissue oxygenation, and may offer the possibility to identify drugs with nephroprotective or nephrotoxic effects at an early stage. Unfortunately, different methods are used to prepare patients, acquire MRI data and analyse the BOLD images. International efforts such as the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) action 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging Biomarkers for Chronic Kidney Disease' (PARENCHIMA) are aiming to harmonize this process, to facilitate the introduction of this technique in clinical practice in the near future. This article represents an extensive overview of the studies performed in this field, summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the technique, provides recommendations about patient preparation, image acquisition and analysis, and suggests clinical applications and future developments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides the potential for a more comprehensive non-invasive assessment of organ structure and function than individual MRI measures, but has not previously been comprehensively evaluated in chronic kidney disease (CKD). METHODS:We performed multi-parametric renal MRI in persons with CKD (n?=?22, 61?±?24 years) who had a renal biopsy and measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR), and matched healthy volunteers (HV) (n?=?22, 61?±?25 years). Longitudinal relaxation time (T1), diffusion-weighted imaging, renal blood flow (phase contrast MRI), cortical perfusion (arterial spin labelling) and blood-oxygen-level-dependent relaxation rate (R2*) were evaluated. RESULTS:MRI evidenced excellent reproducibility in CKD (coefficient of variation?<10%). Significant differences between CKD and HVs included cortical and corticomedullary difference (CMD) in T1, cortical and medullary apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), renal artery blood flow and cortical perfusion. MRI measures correlated with kidney function in a combined CKD and HV analysis: estimated GFR correlated with cortical T1 (r = -0.68), T1 CMD (r = -0.62), cortical (r?=?0.54) and medullary ADC (r?=?0.49), renal artery flow (r?=?0.78) and cortical perfusion (r?=?0.81); log urine protein to creatinine ratio (UPCR) correlated with cortical T1 (r?=?0.61), T1 CMD (r?=?0.61), cortical (r = -0.45) and medullary ADC (r = -0.49), renal artery flow (r = -0.72) and cortical perfusion (r = -0.58). MRI measures (cortical T1 and ADC, T1 and ADC CMD, cortical perfusion) differed between low/high interstitial fibrosis groups at 30-40% fibrosis threshold. CONCLUSION:Comprehensive multi-parametric MRI is reproducible and correlates well with available measures of renal function and pathology. Larger longitudinal studies are warranted to evaluate its potential to stratify prognosis and response to therapy in CKD.
Project description:Background The sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor empagliflozin has cardiorenal protective properties through mechanisms beyond glucose control. In this study we assessed whether empagliflozin modifies renal oxygenation as a possible mechanism of renal protection, and determined the metabolic, renal, and hemodynamic effects of empagliflozin in nondiabetic subjects. Methods and Results In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 45 healthy volunteers underwent blood and urine sampling, renal ultrasound, and blood-oxygenation-level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging before and 180 minutes after administration of 10 mg empagliflozin (n=30) or placebo (n=15). These examinations were repeated after 1 month of daily intake. Cortical and medullary renal oxygenation were not affected by the acute or chronic administration of empagliflozin, as determined by 148 renal blood-oxygenation-level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Empagliflozin increased glucosuria (24-hour glucosuria at 1 month: +50.1±16.3 g). The acute decrease in proximal sodium reabsorption, as determined by endogenous fractional excretion of lithium (-34.6% versus placebo), was compensated at 1 month by a rise in plasma renin activity (+28.6%) and aldosterone (+55.7%). The 24-hour systolic and diastolic ambulatory blood pressures decreased significantly after 1 month of empagliflozin administration (-5.1 and -2.0 mm Hg, respectively). Serum uric acid levels decreased (-28.4%), hemoglobin increased (+1.7%), and erythropoietin remained the same. Conclusions Empagliflozin has a rapid and significant effect on tubular function, with sustained glucosuria and transient natriuresis in nondiabetic normotensive subjects. These effects favor blood pressure reduction. No acute or sustained changes were found in renal cortical or medullary tissue oxygenation. It remains to be determined whether this is the case in nondiabetic or diabetic patients with congestive heart failure or kidney disease. REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.clini?caltr?ials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03093103.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Empagliflozin is an SGLT-2 inhibitor (SGLT-2i) which belongs to a new class of hypoglycemic drugs with the unique property of decreasing blood glucose independently from insulin, through an increase in glycosuria. In addition to decreasing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, empagliflozin has nephroprotective properties in high cardiovascular risk patients with type 2 diabetes. Decreased hyperfiltration and shifting towards more favorable renal fuel energetics with improved renal oxygenation may explain some of these properties. With this study, we propose to explore the effects of empagliflozin on renal tissue oxygenation using blood oxygenation level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-MRI). METHODS:This is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study examining the acute and chronic renal effects of empagliflozin 10 mg. The primary outcome is the effects of empagliflozin on renal tissue oxygenation as measured by BOLD-MRI. The secondary outcomes include the effects of empagliflozin on tubular function, 24 h blood pressure control, and the influence of body mass index (BMI) on the renal response to empagliflozin. Fifteen normal weight, 15 overweight, and 15 obese non-diabetic subjects (men and women) will be recruited. Each participant will undergo 24 h urine collections and blood pressure measurements on day - 1, followed by an investigation day at the study center with blood and urine sampling and renal BOLD-MRI measurements before and 180 min after the administration of 10 mg empagliflozin or placebo. This sequence of measurements will be repeated after 1 month of a daily empagliflozin or placebo intake. To investigate renal oxygenation, the renal cortical and medullary R2*, as a marker of oxygenation, will be assessed by BOLD-MRI under standardized hydration conditions: the higher R2*, the lower oxygenation. CONCLUSION:SGLT-2 inhibitors have a profound effect on renal physiology. This is an important study that will explore for the first time whether inhibiting SGLT-2 with empagliflozin in healthy volunteers affects renal tissue oxygenation as determined by BOLD-MRI. FUNDING:Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT03093103.
Project description:Atherosclerotic renovascular disease (RVD) reduces renal blood flow (RBF) and GFR and accelerates poststenotic kidney (STK) tissue injury. Preclinical studies indicate that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can stimulate angiogenesis and modify immune function in experimental RVD. We assessed the safety and efficacy of adding intra-arterial autologous adipose-derived MSCs into STK to standardized medical treatment in human subjects without revascularization. The intervention group (n=14) received a single infusion of MSC (1.0 × 105 or 2.5 × 105 cells/kg; n=7 each) plus standardized medical treatment; the medical treatment only group (n=14) included subjects matched for age, kidney function, and stenosis severity. We measured cortical and medullary volumes, perfusion, and RBF using multidetector computed tomography. We assessed tissue oxygenation by blood oxygen level-dependent MRI and GFR by iothalamate clearance. MSC infusions were well tolerated. Three months after infusion, cortical perfusion and RBF rose in the STK (151.8-185.5 ml/min, P=0.01); contralateral kidney RBF increased (212.7-271.8 ml/min, P=0.01); and STK renal hypoxia (percentage of the whole kidney with R2*>30/s) decreased (12.1% [interquartile range, 3.3%-17.8%] to 6.8% [interquartile range, 1.8%-12.9%], P=0.04). No changes in RBF occurred in medical treatment only subjects. Single-kidney GFR remained stable after MSC but fell in the medical treatment only group (-3% versus -24%, P=0.04). This first-in-man dose-escalation study provides evidence of safety of intra-arterial infusion of autologous MSCs in patients with RVD. MSC infusion without main renal artery revascularization associated with increased renal tissue oxygenation and cortical blood flow.
Project description:The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with nutrient surplus and kidney hyperfiltration, accelerating chronic renal failure. Mitochondria can be overwhelmed by substrate excess, leading to inefficient energy production and thereby tissue hypoxia. Mitochondrial dysfunction is emerging as an important determinant of renal damage, but whether it contributes to MetS-induced renal injury remains unknown. We hypothesized that early MetS induces kidney mitochondrial abnormalities and dysfunction, which would be notable in the vulnerable renal medulla. Pigs were studied after 16 weeks of diet-induced MetS, MetS treated for the last 4 weeks with the mitochondria-targeted peptide elamipretide (0.1 mg/kg SC q.d), and Lean controls (n = 7 each). Single-kidney renal blood flow, glomerular filtration rate, and oxygenation were measured in-vivo, whereas cortical and medullary mitochondrial structure and function and renal injurious pathways were studied ex-vivo. Blood pressure was slightly elevated in MetS pigs, and their renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate were elevated. Blood oxygen level-dependent magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated that this was associated with medullary hypoxia, whereas cortical oxygenation remained intact. MetS decreased renal content of the inner mitochondrial membrane cardiolipin, particularly the tetra-linoleoyl (C18:2) cardiolipin species, and altered mitochondrial morphology and function, particularly in the medullary thick ascending limb. MetS also increased renal cytochrome-c-induced apoptosis, oxidative stress, and tubular injury. Chronic mitoprotection restored mitochondrial structure, ATP synthesis, and antioxidant defenses and decreased mitochondrial oxidative stress, medullary hypoxia, and renal injury. These findings implicate medullary mitochondrial damage in renal injury in experimental MetS, and position the mitochondria as a therapeutic target.
Project description:To test the hypothesis that fractional kidney hypoxia, measured by using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, correlates with renal blood flow (RBF), tissue perfusion, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in patients with atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (RAS) better than regionally selected region of interest-based methods.The study was approved by the institutional review board according to a HIPAA-compliant protocol, with written informed consent. BOLD MR imaging was performed in 40 patients with atherosclerotic RAS (age range, 51-83 years; 22 men, 18 women) and 32 patients with essential hypertension (EH) (age range, 26-85 years; 19 men, 13 women) during sodium intake and renin-angiotensin blockade. Fractional kidney hypoxia (percentage of entire axial image section with R2* above 30 sec(-1)) and conventional regional estimates of cortical and medullary R2* levels were measured. Stenotic and nonstenotic contralateral kidneys were compared for volume, tissue perfusion, and blood flow measured with multidetector computed tomography. Statistical analysis was performed (paired and nonpaired t tests, linear regression analysis).Stenotic RBF was reduced compared with RBF of contralateral kidneys (225.2 mL/min vs 348 mL/min, P = .0003). Medullary perfusion in atherosclerotic RAS patients was lower than in EH patients (1.07 mL/min per milliliter of tissue vs 1.3 mL/min per milliliter of tissue, P = .009). While observer-selected cortical R2* (18.9 sec(-1) [stenosis] vs 18.5 sec(-1) [EH], P = .07) did not differ, fractional kidney hypoxia was higher in stenotic kidneys compared with kidneys with EH (17.4% vs 9.6%, P < .0001) and contralateral kidneys (7.2%, P < .0001). Fractional hypoxia correlated inversely with blood flow (r = -0.34), perfusion (r = -0.3), and GFR (r = -0.32).Fractional tissue hypoxia rather than cortical or medullary R2* values used to assess renal BOLD MR imaging demonstrated a direct relationship to chronically reduced blood flow and GFR.
Project description:Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with glomerular hyperfiltration and is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly defined. This study tested the hypothesis that increased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in early MetS is associated with renal adiposity and microvascular proliferation. Twelve MetS-prone Ossabaw pigs were randomized to 10 wk of a standard (lean, n = 6) or atherogenic (MetS, n = 6) diet. Kidney hemodynamics and function, perirenal fat volume, and tubular dynamics were assessed in vivo by multidetector computed tomography (CT) and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD)-MRI. Microvascular architecture was assessed ex vivo with micro-CT. Candidate injury mechanisms were evaluated in kidney tissue by Western blotting and histology. Basal GFR, renal blood flow, and renal cortical perfusion and volume were elevated in the MetS group. Perirenal and kidney tissue fat, proximal-nephron intratubular fluid concentration, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression were increased in MetS. GFR levels correlated with tissue triglyceride levels. Elevated spatial density of 20- to 40-?m cortical microvessels was accompanied by mild oxidative stress, inflammation, and with proximal tubular vacuolization. Medullary size and perfusion were relatively preserved, and BOLD-MRI showed intact medullary tubular response to furosemide. Increased GFR in early MetS is associated with renal adiposity and microvascular proliferation, which involve mainly the renal cortex and precede significant activation of oxidative stress and inflammation. Renal adiposity and proliferative microvessels may represent novel therapeutic targets for preserving renal function in early MetS.