Worldwide, 843.6 million individuals have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, signifying that 1 in 10 people experiences some level of kidney dysfunction. As the stage of chronic kidney disease advances, healthcare costs for both nations and individuals rise significantly. Consequently, the effective management of chronic kidney disease remains a crucial concern.
Contemporary global guidelines evaluate the stage of chronic kidney disease based on serum creatinine and urine protein levels. However, in certain causes of chronic kidney disease, despite these tests showing normal results initially, alterations may manifest after irreversible tissue damage has taken place.
For example, in chronic kidney disease resulting from diabetes, there is a rise in urine protein and serum creatinine levels 5-10 years after the occurrence of tissue damage or irreversible changes. While tissue analysis serves as the gold standard for diagnosis in certain cases, the development of non-invasive diagnostic methods becomes imperative.
In recent times, considerable research has focused on the significance of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in evaluating both the structure and function of the kidneys. FMRI proves to be well-suited for measuring diverse aspects of renal function, encompassing blood flow, filtration, tissue oxygenation, and tubular reabsorption.
Various types of kidney fMRI exist, such as MRE-MRI, which identifies tissue fibrosis through water displacement waves induced by external vibrations. Additionally, BOLD-MRI utilizes oxyhemoglobin to assess tissue oxygen levels, and research has been published regarding its significance in studying kidney hypoxia. The analysis of fMRI data from these studies shows promise in estimating functional parameters for diagnosing and monitoring kidney disease. Clinical trials are essential for enhancing its application, and ongoing research in the field of renal imaging actively contributes to this advancement.