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G Ital Nefrol [journal]
- [Introduction]. [Editorial, Introductory Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S1.
- [Vascular complications following kidney transplant: the role of color-Doppler imaging]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S99-105.
The progressive decline in the incidence of graft rejection has made urological, surgical, parenchymal and vascular complications of kidney transplant more frequent. The latter, although accounting for only 5-10% of all post-transplant complications, are a frequent cause of graft loss. Ultrasonography, both in B-mode and with Doppler ultrasound, is an important diagnostic tool in case of clinical conditions which might impair kidney function. Even though ultrasonography is considered fundamental in the diagnosis of parenchymal and surgical complications of the transplanted kidney, its role is not fully understood in case of vascular complications of the graft. The specificity of Doppler ultrasound is very important in case of stenosis of the transplanted renal artery, pseudoaneurysms, arteriovenous fistulas, and thrombosis with complete or partial artery or vein occlusion. Doppler and color determinations present high diagnostic accuracy, which is higher in case of successive measurements performed during the follow-up of the graft. Modern techniques including contrast-enhanced ultrasound increase the diagnostic power of ultrasonography in case of vascular complications of the transplanted kidney, planted kidney.
- [Parenchymal complications of the transplanted kidney: the role of color-Doppler imaging]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S90-8.
Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for end-stage renal disease, given the better quality of life of transplanted patients when compared to patients on maintenance dialysis. In spite of surgical improvements and new immunosuppressive regimens, part of the transplanted grafts still develop chronic dysfunction. Ultrasonography, both in B-mode and with Doppler ultrasound, is an important diagnostic tool in case of clinical conditions which might impair kidney function. Even though ultrasonography is considered fundamental in the diagnosis of vascular and surgical complications of the transplanted kidney, its role is not fully understood in case of parenchymal complications of the graft. The specificity of Doppler ultrasound is low both in case of acute complications such as acute tubular necrosis, drug toxicity and acute rejection, and in case of chronic conditions such as chronic allograft nephropathy. Single determinations of resistance indices present low diagnostic accuracy, which is higher in case of successive measurements performed during the follow-up of the graft. Modern techniques including tissue pulsatility index, maximal fractional area and contrast-enhanced ultrasound increase the diagnostic power of ultrasonography in case of parenchymal complications of the transplanted kidney.
- [Vascular calcifications in chronic kidney disease]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S83-9.
Vascular calcifications are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Their prevalence is higher in patients with chronic kidney disease than in the general population and they are linked not only to classical risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and smoking but also to derangements in mineral metabolism and to chronic inflammation. The development of vascular calcifications is an active phenomenon that is linked to an imbalance between promoting and inhibitory factors. They affect also young patients on dialysis and it is therefore necessary to recognize them at an early stage. The distinction between intima and media calcification can be important for a different therapeutic approach. There are a number of devices for the identification of vascular calcifications, including x-ray imaging, ultrasonography and computerized technologies. The purpose of this paper is to show the advantages and disadvantages of ultrasonography in comparison to other tools for the diagnosis of vascular calcifications.
- [Echocardiography in nephrology]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S74-82.
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of mordibity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) affected by a series of risk factors (hypertension, anemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, cardiac failure and dyslipidemia). The combined presence of these factors raises the cardiovascular risk in CKD patients considerably compared with that of the general population. Nephrologists can play a role in preventing and treating these risk factors and thereby delaying the development of CKD. In preventing CKD, nephrologists who practice ultrasound techniques should have basic know how of echocardiography so that they can screen CKD patients for early referral to a cardiologist. Echocardiography is a noninvasive ultrasound technique that requires adequately trained doctors to perform it. Nephrologists who practice it need to obtain good training and postgraduate certification of competence in echocardiography. These nephrologists should team up with cardiologists rather than replace them, and at the same time be aware that they possess the basic knowledge to manage cardiovascular disease in CKD patients.
- [Bone ultrasonography in kidney disease: applications and limitations]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S65-73.
Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the bone is a technique that is generating great interest among bone structure researchers because of its intrinsic features. Its safety and low cost make it an ideal technique for repeated measurements over time such as in chronic disease or when it is necessary to monitor the effects of prescribed therapies. The method was developed for the study of osteoporosis and the sites of measurement are all peripheral, including the distal diaphyses and metaphyses of the phalanges, calcaneus, radius and tibia. QUS parameters, however, cannot be used directly for the diagnosis of osteoporosis according to the WHO criteria, although many authors have shown that ultrasound parameters, particularly those of calcaneal QUS, can predict the risk of osteoporotic fractures independently of MBD. Very promising results with the use of QUS have been obtained in corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Cushing's syndrome, cystic fibrosis, osteomalacia, thalassemia and osteopenia related to parenteral nutrition. QUS can also monitor the effectiveness of therapy in various pathological conditions. In nephrology the combined use of phalangeal QUS and biochemical markers of bone turnover allows adequate follow-up of patients on dialysis and renal transplant recipients with alterations or disorders of the bone.
- [Ultrasonography in the hyperhydrated patient]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S58-64.
The achievement of a normal hydration state is one of the major targets of hemodialysis. It is based on the estimation of ''dry weight'', which corresponds to the normal body fluid content. Even though the concept of dry weight in hemodialysis patients is clinically undisputed, it is not always easy to achieve in this population. Assessment of the hydration state by clinical examination is imprecise and often unreliable. Measurement of the inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter has been shown to reflect individual fluid status. The relationship between the variation of the IVC diameter before and after the hemodialysis session and weight loss has been investigated. Measurement of the IVC diameter by ultrasound is considered a valid measure of the hydration state and can be routinely used in hemodialysis patients. Moreover, a relationship between IVC diameter, respiratory activity and the hydration state, evaluated by considering both plasma volume and central venous pressure, has been demonstrated. In conclusion, assessment of the hydration state based on blood pressure and central venous pressure can be considered reliable only in patients without signs of heart failure.
- [Ultrasound assessment in renal infections]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S47-57.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common clinical problem, especially among women. Ultrasound assessment is indicated in case of complicated UTIs, in particular in children, pregnant women and patients with chronic kidney disease. Even though B-mode imaging alone is rarely diagnostic in case of particular kidney infections such as focal and multifocal acute pyelonephritis, Doppler and power-Doppler (PD) techniques are able to increase its sensitivity. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) further improves the signal-to-noise ratio, thus increasing the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound in case of renal infectious disease. Recent studies performed on kidney transplant recipients have indeed demonstrated the high sensitivity and specificity of CEUS in diagnosing acute pyelonephritis. Moreover, ultrasonography is a useful diagnostic tool in case of kidney abscesses, emphysematous pyelonephritis, early phases of pyonephrosis, and in the evaluation and monitoring of echinococcal cysts. Ultrasound imaging is less specific in diagnosing xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis, malacoplakia and renal tuberculosis. Finally, several authors recommend routine ultrasound assessment in HIV patients, given the high incidence of renal complications in this population of patients.
- [Color-Doppler imaging and arteriovenous fistula: preoperative evaluation and surveillance]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S36-46.
The native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the preferred vascular access for hemodialysis because of the lower incidence of complications and longer survival in comparison to grafts and central venous catheters. The use of color-Doppler sonography in the surgery of vascular accesses has increased the number of patients that are eligible for AVF as it allows to optimize the search for vessels suitable for surgical intervention (preoperative vascular mapping). Furthermore, color-Doppler imaging (CDI) has improved the survival of native AVF by increasing the early diagnosis of complications (postoperative surveillance). CDI is the only imaging technique able to provide both morphological and functional information about native vascular access and it is the only tool directly available to the nephrologist. This aspect is undoubtedly an additional value. Here we present a survey of the applications of CDI in the surgery and followup of AVF, with particular reference to preoperative mapping, AVF maturation and surveillance.
- [Contrast enhanced ultrasound in renal diseases]. [English Abstract, Journal Article, Review]
- G Ital Nefrol 2012 Nov-Dec.:S25-35.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is one of the most interesting and promising clinical applications of imaging and ultrasound. Thanks to the absence of ionizing radiation, the lack of nephrotoxicity and low cost it has the potential to become a reference in imaging of the kidney. This review, besides providing a brief description of the proper methodology, presents possible applications of CEUS in nephrology and urology, including renal ischemia, the differential diagnosis of cystic and solid lesions, follow-up of ablative therapies, kidney trauma, kidney transplant, inflammatory diseases, ischemic nephropathy and vesicoureteral reflux.