Project 6

Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound Scanning for Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation

This study is to investigate whether it is possible to use a special type of ultrasound scan CEUS (Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound Scan) to view the shape, assess blood supply and calculate the amount of oxygen being carried to a transplanted kidney and pancreas. We currently use a nuclear scan (Transcan) to assess this in the kidney. This is cumbersome, involves nuclear medicine and takes 45- 60 minutes to complete.

We do not routinely image the blood supply to the pancreas post-surgery, despite the most common complication post pancreas transplantation being vascular in origin. In an emergency a CT angiogram is carried out. This involves transfer of a sick patient to the CT scanner and injection of contrast which is harmful to the kidneys.

CEUS involves injection of a safe contrast prior to conducting an ultrasound scan. This can be carried out at the bed-side, provides instant results, is cheap and safe enough to do on a routine basis for all kidney and pancreas transplant recipients. Although the uses of CEUS are well recognised, it is currently not routinely used in transplantation. CEUS has been compared to other modes of imaging and has been found to be comparable/ beneficial. However, it has never been compared to Transcan. We therefore need to perform CEUS on our kidney transplant recipients and compare the results to Transcan. We would also like to assess whether CEUS is able to visualise the blood supply and calculate the amount of oxygen being carried to the transplanted pancreas.