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Shear wave elastography of kidneys in children: utility in distinguishing steroid-resistant and steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2023 Dec 27. doi: 10.1007/s00261-023-04138-y. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To assess the renal elasticity values using (SWE) and correlate the values with steroid sensitivity to distinguish between steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) and steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) in children.

METHODS: In this IRB-approved cross-sectional study, 83 children (4-14 years) diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome were included from July 2021 to December 2022. SWE measurements were done for each kidney’s upper pole, interpolar region, and lower pole. Mean as well as median SWE were calculated. Correlation of the renal stiffness values was done with different laboratory findings (blood urea, serum creatinine, 24 h urine protein, serum albumin, and serum cholesterol), the grayscale findings (cortical echogenicity, and corticomedullary differentiation), and the final diagnosis of SRNS and SSNS. The statistical tests were done at a significance level of α = 0.05.

RESULTS: The median (IQR) overall SWE of kidneys was higher in SRNS group 12.64 (8.4-19.68) kPa than SSNS group 9.87 (8.20-12.56) kPa. The difference was significant (p = 0.004). At a cut-off of ≥ 10.694 kPa (AUROC- 0.641), the overall SWE predicted SRNS group with a sensitivity of 70% and a specificity of 63%. A significant correlation (p < 0.05) was found between the SWE and 24-h urine protein, cortical echogenicity, and corticomedullary differentiation in SSNS, while only between SWE and corticomedullary differentiation in SRNS.

CONCLUSION: The mean SWE was higher in children with SRNS. While SWE has potential to differentiate SSNS from SRNS, a different study design where SWE is performed at presentation is needed for confirmation.

PMID:38150144 | DOI:10.1007/s00261-023-04138-y

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