The evaluation of the kidney function in hyperthyroid cats using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography

01 February 2014 → 31 January 2019
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Animal biology
kidney disease
Project description

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major health problem in older cats, the incidence is even higher in

cats with hyperthyroidism. Moreover, hyperthyroidism complicates the diagnosis of CKD as in the

majority of the hyperthyroid cats, the impaired kidney function is only detected several weeks after

treatment of hyperthyroidism. Early diagnosis of CKD is essential to provide adequate therapy,

which can dramatically improve prognosis. Renal function is reflected by the renal perfusion. Often,

changes in renal perfusion are present before an abnormal renal function is detectable. However,

quantification of renal perfusion is challenging. Techniques as computed tomography, magnetic

resonance and scintigraphy can all be used but they have several limitations as availability, costs and

exposure to radiation or nuclear tracers. A promising imaging technique for the evaluation of both

the macro- and microvasculature is contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS). CEUS is a safe, costeffective

and fast method. Tiny, gas-filled microbubbles, stabilized by an outer shell, are injected


The general objective of this research project is to evaluate the renal function through several

perfusion parameters obtained by the use of quantitative CEUS before and after treatment of

hyperthyroid cats and to test that pre-treatment CEUS could serve as a predictive method for the

development of renal dysfunction.