Advanced Ultrasound in Diagnosis and Therapy ›› 2022, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (4): 129-146.doi: 10.37015/AUDT.2022.220036

• Review Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Renal Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound: Clinical Applications and Emerging Research

Felipe Velasquez-Botero, MDa, Ananya Balasubramanyaa, Ying Tang, MDb, Qiang Lu, MDc, Ji-Bin Liu, MDa, John R. Eisenbrey, PhDa,*()   

  1. a Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    b Department of Ultrasound, Tianjin Frist Central Hospital, Tianjin, China
    c Department of Ultrasound, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
  • Received:2022-09-14 Revised:2022-10-05 Accepted:2022-10-14 Online:2022-12-30 Published:2022-10-25
  • Contact: John R. Eisenbrey, PhD,


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is an imaging modality that has achieved considerable relevance in various clinical settings including the assessment of renal disease. CEUS is performed by injecting microbubble-based ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) that create signals to display the microvasculature, allowing quantitative and qualitative assessment of parenchymal perfusion and real-time visualization of the renal anatomy. In recent years, CEUS has been widely accepted and applied for the assessment of kidney perfusion and the characterization of indeterminate renal masses, primarily due to its diagnostic efficacy, availability, low cost, reproducibility, and absence of nephrotoxicity. CEUS provides a higher spatial and temporal resolution than other cross-sectional imaging, resulting in high sensitivity and specificity for its applications in a variety of renal conditions including cancer monitoring following ablation, detection of transplant complications, hypoperfusion, acute traumatic injury, renal artery stenosis, parenchymal infection, and kidney intervention guidance. Additionally, the continuous investigation and development of new technologies surrounding this imaging technique have shown encouraging preliminary results for the use of CEUS in the evaluation of molecular expression in several disease processes, the dynamic analysis of blood flow kinetics, and the implementation of super-resolution imaging systems. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the current and potential clinical applications of renal CEUS.

Key words: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Renal disease; Renal CEUS; Emerging spplications; CEUS applications