Evaluation of non-contrast MRI biomarkers in lupus nephritis.

Sarah Skeoch, Penny L Hubbard Cristinacce, Mark Dobbs, Josephine Naish, Neil Woodhouse, Meilien Ho, John C Waterton, Geoff J M Parker, Ian N Bruce,

Clinical and experimental rheumatology, August 29, 2017

To investigate the association of novel non-contrast MRI biomarkers with standard measurements of renal function and renal disease activity in lupus. A pilot study of lupus nephritis (LN) and lupus non-nephritis (LNN) patients, and healthy volunteers (HV), was undertaken. Multi-modal renal MRI was performed including sequences for arterial spin labelling (ASL) measuring blood flow, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), measuring microstructural disruption, and effective transverse relaxation time (T2*) which is a biomarker of micro-haemorrhage. MRI measurements were compared with urinary protein creatinine ratio (uPCR) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measurements in the whole study population, then differences in imaging measurements between the groups were explored. 21 patients (6 LN, 8 LNN and 7 HV) completed the study, although ASL data were not available in 4 subjects. In the whole cohort, eGFR correlated significantly with the apparent diffusion coefficient measurement from DTI in the medulla (r=0.47, p=0.03). uPCR correlated strongly with the fractional anisotropy (FA) DTI measurement in the cortex and moderately with T2* measurements (rho=-0.71, p

Pubmed Link: 28850028