ISSN: 1899-0967
Polish Journal of Radiology
Established by prof. Zygmunt Grudziński in 1926 Sun
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vol. 85
Gastrointestinal and abdominal radiology
Original paper

Validity of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of acute pyelonephritis in comparison with contrast-enhanced computed tomography

Sriman Rajasekaran
Venkatesh K
Mathew Cherian
Pankaj Mehta
Shankar Radhakrishnan

© Pol J Radiol 2020; 85: e137-e143
Online publish date: 2020/03/11
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Applications of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging outside the brain have gained increasing importance in recent years, and recent studies have shown the usage of diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging in diagnosing pyelonephritis based on renal cortical and medullary apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of DW magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in comparison with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) in diagnosing pyelonephritis.

Material and methods
A cross-sectional observational study was conducted for a period of six months in a tertiary hospital in Coimbatore. All patients with clinical and laboratory diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis, who were referred for radiological imaging (CECT), were taken into the study. Out of 112 patients with a clinical and laboratorial diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis (APN), who underwent both DW MR and CECT, diagnosis of APN was made in 100 patients based on CECT, while in 12 cases the investigation (CECT) was negative. Finally, these 100 patients were included in the study. The validity of DW MR imaging in diagnosing APN was assessed by deriving sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value in comparison with CECT findings.

The validity report of DW MR imaging in the detection of APN showed a very high sensitivity (96-100%) and specificity (86-90%) and very low false positives (6-10%) and negatives (< 5%), and it also showed that in the areas of affected renal parenchyma ADC values were consistently lower compared to unaffected renal parenchyma.

Based on the generated hypothesis, DW MR imaging of the kidneys seems to be highly sensitive and specific for the detection of focal or diffuse infections within the kidney in comparison with CECT.


acute pyelonephritis, CECT imaging, DW MR imaging, ADC value

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