Ruta Pupalyte1, Algidas Basevicius2
1 Faculty of Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania,
2Department of Radiology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Background and aim: Inflammatory diseases of the kidney are a broad group of various renal pathologies. They are usually recognized by clinical symptoms and laboratory tests. However, radiology also has a role. The aim of this article is to assess radiologic imaging possibilities in diagnosis and follow-up of the most common inflammatory renal diseases.
Materials and methods: A selective search was carried out for relevant studies regarding radiologic imaging of acute pyelonephritis, renal and perinephric abscesses, emphysematous pyelonephritis, emphysematous pyelitis, chronic pyelonephritis and glomerulonephritis. ClinicalKey, Cochrane Library, Medline (PubMed), ScienceDirect and SpringerLink databases were used.
Results: Ultrasound is usually used as the initial imaging tool to evaluate patients with symptoms of acute pyelonephritis. However, computed tomography is the most appropriate imaging modality. If an abscess or gas-forming infection are suspected, CT is the modality of choice. The findings characteristic, yet not pathognomic to chronic pyelonephritis can be assessed using all of the previously mentioned imaging tools. In cases of glomerulonephritis, US and MRI are the most suitable.
Conclusion: Radiology plays an important role in diagnosis of inflammatory renal diseases. Imaging allows to identify renal abnormalities and differentiate between a few feasible pathologies. It may also evaluate the activity of the disease. Moreover, it can assess sequelae, such as renal scarring and decreased renal function.
Keywords: pyelonephritis, renal abscess, glomerulonephritis, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging.