Renal damage is common in scleroderma. It can occur acutely or chronically. Renal reserve might already be impaired before it can be detected by laboratory findings. Microbubble-based contrast-enhanced ultrasound has been demonstrated to improve blood perfusion imaging in organs. Therefore, we conducted a study to assess renal perfusion in scleroderma patients utilizing this novel technique.

Materials and Methodology:

Microbubble-based contrast agent was infused and destroyed by using high mechanical index by Siemens Sequoia (curved array, 4.5 MHz). Replenishment was recorded for 8 seconds. Regions of interests (ROI) were analyzed in renal parenchyma, interlobular artery and renal pyramid with quantitative contrast software (CUSQ 1.4, Siemens Acuson, Mountain View, California). Time to maximal Enhancement (TmE), maximal enhancement (mE) and maximal enhancement relative to maximal enhancement of the interlobular artery (mE%A) were calculated for different ROIs.


There was a linear correlation between the time to maximal enhancement in the parenchyma and the glomerular filtration rate. However, the other parameters did not reveal significant differences between scleroderma patients and healthy controls.


Renal perfusion of scleroderma patients including the glomerular filtration rate can be assessed using microbubble-based contrast media.

Keywords: Scleroderma, renal perfusion, contrast-enhanced ultrasound..
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