Author(s): Franois M, Tostivint I, Mercadal L, Bellin MF, Izzedine H,
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Abstract Bilateral renal cortical necrosis (BRCN) is an uncommon cause of acute renal failure. Kidney biopsy, arteriography, and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) are usually used to diagnose BRCN. However, these methods can have potentially serious side effects. We report two cases in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidenced characteristic features of BRCN, which were confirmed by histological findings and arteriography and correlated with clinical evolution. In the first case report, the diagnosis of a massive and complete cortical necrosis variety was suggested on MRI that showed a thin rim of low signal intensity along border of kidneys. It was confirmed on kidney biopsy, and the renal function did not recover. The second case is an incomplete form with cortical patchy areas of low signal intensity. In these two patients, MRI helped to establish an early diagnosis of BRCN with characteristic representative findings, without the potential nephrotoxic effects of iodinated contrast that has to be used in CT and arteriography. Kidney biopsy, besides the risks of complications, provides only a parceled analysis of the renal tissue and therefore does not allow any conclusion as to the extension of cortical necrosis. MRI may be of great help for the diagnosis and follow-up of acute renal cortical necrosis.
This article was published in Am J Kidney Dis
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics