Use of computed tomography renal angiography for screening feline renal transplant donors

Bouma JL, Aronson LR, Keith DG, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2003;44:636-641.

Preoperative knowledge of the renal vascular anatomy is important for selection of the appropriate feline renal donor. Intravenous urograms (IVUs) have been performed routinely to screen potential donors at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (VHUP), but the vascular phase views lack sufficient detail of the renal vascular anatomy. Computed tomography angiography (CTA), which requires a helical computed tomography (CT) scanner, has been found to provide superior renal vascular anatomic information of prospective human renal donors. The specific aims of this study were as follows: 1) develop the CTA technique for the feline patient; and 2) obtain preliminary information on feline renal vessel anatomy in potential renal donors. Ten healthy, potential feline renal donors were anesthetized and imaged using a third-generation helical CT scanner. The time delay between i.v. contrast medium injection and image acquisition, and other parameters of slice collimation, slice interval, pitch, exposure settings, and reconstruction algorithms were varied to maximize contrast medium opacification of the renal vascular anatomy. Optimal CTA acquisition parameters were determined to be: 1) 10-sec delay post-i.v. bolus of iodinated contrast medium; 2) two serially acquired (corresponding to arterial and venous phases) helical scans through the renal vasculature; 3) pitch of 2 (4 mm/sec patient translation, 2 mm slice collimation); and 4) 120-kVp, 160-mA, and 1-sec exposure settings. Retrospective reconstructed CTA transverse images obtained at a 2-mm slice width and a 1-mm slice interval in combination with two-dimensional reformatted images and three-dimensional reconstructed images were qualitatively evaluated for vascular anatomy; vascular anatomy was confirmed at surgery. Four cats had single renal arteries and veins bilaterally; four cats had double renal veins. One cat had a small accessory artery supplying the caudal pole of the left kidney. One cat had a left renal artery originating from the aorta at a 90 degrees angle with the cranial mesenteric artery. CTA of the feline renal vascular anatomy is feasible, and reconstruction techniques provide excellent anatomic vascular detail. CTA is now used routinely at VHUP to screen all potential feline renal donors.