Objective. To evaluate the use of color-flow Doppler ultrasonography, a direct, noninvasive technique, for measurement of kidney blood flow in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods. Twenty-five normal volunteers and 25 SSc patients (median disease duration 8 years, range 2-21 years) were studied. All were free of clinical symptoms of renal damage. The resistance index (RI) was determined on main, interlobar, and cortical vessels. Results. In SSc patients, the RI was significantly increased at every sampling site examined (P <0.001). RI values were strongly correlated with disease duration (main artery r = 0.56, P <0.04; interlobar artery r = 0.63, P <0.02; cortical artery r = 0.75, P <0.002). Regression analysis showed no relationship between RI and creatinine clearance values. Conclusion. Color-flow Doppler ultrasonography is a sensitive and noninvasive technique for evaluating vascular damage of the kidney in patients with SSc.
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