Renal MRI: from nephron to NMR signal


  • O. Bane
  • E. Seeliger
  • E. Cox
  • J. Stabinska
  • E. Bechler
  • S. Lewis
  • L.T.J. Hickson
  • S. Francis
  • E. Sigmund
  • T. Niendorf


  • Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • J Magn Reson Imaging 58 (6): 1660-1679


  • Renal diseases pose a significant socio-economic burden on healthcare systems. The development of better diagnostics and prognostics is well-recognized as a key strategy to resolve these challenges. Central to these developments are MRI biomarkers, due to their potential for monitoring of early pathophysiological changes, renal disease progression or treatment effects. The surge in renal MRI involves major cross-domain initiatives, large clinical studies, and educational programs. In parallel with these translational efforts, the need for greater (patho)physiological specificity remains, to enable engagement with clinical nephrologists and increase the associated health impact. The ISMRM 2022 Member Initiated Symposium (MIS) on renal MRI spotlighted this issue with the goal of inspiring more solutions from the ISMRM community. This work is a summary of the MIS presentations devoted to: 1) educating imaging scientists and clinicians on renal (patho)physiology and demands from clinical nephrologists, 2) elucidating the connection of MRI parameters with renal physiology, 3) presenting the current state of leading MR surrogates in assessing renal structure and functions as well as their next generation of innovation, and 4) describing the potential of these imaging markers for providing clinically meaningful renal characterization to guide or supplement clinical decision making. We hope to continue momentum of recent years and introduce new entrants to the development process, connecting (patho)physiology with (bio)physics, and conceiving new clinical applications. We envision this process to benefit from cross-disciplinary collaboration and analogous efforts in other body organs, but also to maximally leverage the unique opportunities of renal physiology.