Background and Purpose: Contrast-enhanced three-dimensional magnetic resonance angiography (3D-MRA) with image reconstruction has important applications in laparoscopic urologie surgery. We now use 3D-MRA as part of our preoperative evaluation in selected patients undergoing laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, pyeloplasty, radical nephrectomy, and partial nephrectomy. Patients and Methods: From June 2001 to December 2002, 50 patients underwent preoperative 3D-MRA at 1.5 T prior to laparoscopic renal surgery. In general, preoperative 3D-MRA was obtained for donor nephrectomies and pyeloplasties and for cases where prior imaging suggested a possible vascular anomaly. Patients who underwent preoperative imaging included those having donor nephrectomy (N = 28), pyeloplasty (N = 12), radical nephrectomy (N = 5), partial nephrectomy (N = 3), and other laparoscopic renal procedures (N = 2). The 3D-MRA studies were interpreted by one radiologist, and all laparoscopic cases were performed by one of two surgeons. The findings of 3D-MRA were correlated with the intraoperative findings with special attention to aberrant vasculature, including duplicated renal arteries or veins, accessory vessels, or crossing vessels. Results: Among patients undergoing laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, 3D-MRA correctly predicted the number of renal vessels in 27 of 28 cases (96%), including all 3 cases of left retroaortic renal vein. Also, 3D-MRA correctly predicted the presence or absence of a crossing vessel in 10 of 12 cases (83%) of laparoscopic pyeloplasty. The imaging study also correctly predicted the number of hilar vessels in all five cases of radical nephrectomy, all three cases of partial nephrectomy, and both cases of other renal operations. Overall, 3D-MRA correctly defined the renal hilar anatomy in 48 of 50 patients, for an overall accuracy of 96%. Conclusions: Three-dimensional MRA findings correlate well (96%) with intraoperative findings in laparoscopic renal surgery. The imaging study provides exquisite vascular detail and is highly accurate, making it sufficient imaging prior to laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and useful for pyeloplasty and other complex renal operations.
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