Medical researchers have been exploring the use of non-contrast enhanced MR angiography (MRA) techniques to diagnose renal artery stenosis, instead of the gadolinium-based contrast agents typically used with CT angiography (CTA). According to a new article published in the January 2015 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, a multi-center trial has validated Toshiba’s Time-Spatial Labeling Inversion Pulse (Time-SLIP) technology as a non-invasive method for non-contrast vascular imaging.

The renal artery contrast-free trial (REACT) involved 75 patients across seven medical centers in the United States, France, Spain, China, and Japan. Each subject received non-contrast renal MRA exams using the Toshiba 1.5T Vantage Atlas and Vantage Titan MR systems, as well as CT angiography for the evaluation of renal artery stenosis. The study found that Toshiba’s MRA technology demonstrated comparable sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy to CTA methods.

“The REACT study has proved that it is now possible to detect renal artery stenosis without using contrast agents. Time-SLIP eliminates the need for gadolinium-based contrast agents, which results in safer and more comfortable examinations,” Toshio Takiguchi, president of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation. “Not only do these non-invasive and painless techniques eliminate the risks associated with gadolinium-based contrast agents, but they also require less setup time for clinicians, resulting in MR exams that are more comfortable for the patient and can be completed more quickly without compromising image quality.”

“This is a first-of-its-kind multi-center, international, non-contrast vascular imaging trial,” said Timothy Albert, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, who served as the principal investigator of the trial. “REACT shows that Time-SLIP imaging can be user-friendly and applied to different patient groups. It works in diverse populations, from Asia to Europe and the United States.”

For more information, visit Toshiba America Medical Systems.