Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound of the Kidney (CEUS-CKD)

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University of North Carolina (UNC)

Status and phase

Phase 2


Chronic Kidney Disease
Cystic Kidney Disease


Drug: Perflutren lipid microsphere

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of this research study is to evaluate contrast-enhanced ultrasound for kidney malignancies

Full description

This is an investigator-initiated, prospective study designed to evaluate the accuracy of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) with microbubble contrast agent (perflutren lipid; Definity®) to identify malignancy in patients with kidney disease, a known risk factor for kidney malignancy, in whom a conventional ultrasound (US) shows an indeterminate cystic kidney lesion. The primary objective of the study is to estimate the sensitivity of CEUS in diagnosing kidney malignancy in patients with a risk factor for kidney malignancy and compare it to the current gold standard test in this patient population. Secondary analysis will include more optimal contrast-enhanced imaging with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a subset of patients who can receive these studies. The study outcome will lead to immediate clinical application in patients with chronic kidney disease. Given the cost-effectiveness and adverse event profile, it has excellent potential to become established as first line diagnostics in the general patient population as well.


63 patients




18+ years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

To be eligible for the present study, patients must meet the following criteria:

  1. Able to provide written informed consent
  2. Willing to comply with protocol requirements
  3. At least 18 years of age
  4. Have kidney disease, defined as either CKD II-VI, determined by estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of <90 and derived from serum creatinine measurements, or albuminuria/proteinuria, determined by albumin to creatinine ratio or protein to creatinine ratio of >30mg/gm, or having received a kidney transplant
  5. Have at least one kidney lesion identified but incompletely characterized on a non-contrasted US, CT, or MR exam for which the patient's provider recommends follow-up studies or further evaluation with an additional imaging tests.

Exclusion criteria

Patients who meet any of the following criteria will be excluded for enrollment:

  1. Critically ill or medically unstable and whose critical course during the observation period would be unpredictable (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requiring oxygen)

  2. Known hypersensitivity to sulfur hexafluoride or to any component of perflutren lipid (Definity®)

  3. Right to left shunt, severe pulmonary hypertension (Pulmonary artery pressure >90mmHg), or adult respiratory distress syndrome

  4. Active cardiac disease including any of the following:

    • Severe congestive heart failure (class IV in accordance with the classification of the New York Heart Association)
    • Unstable angina.
    • Severe arrhythmia (i.e. ventricular tachycardia, flutter fibrillation; ventricular premature complexes occurring close to the preceding T- wave, multifocal complexes).
    • Myocardial infarction within 14 days prior to the date of proposed Definity® administration.
    • Uncontrolled systemic hypertension (systolic blood pressure (BP) >180 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP >100 mm Hg despite optimal medical management
  5. Is in an intensive care setting

  6. Has an unstable neurological disease (e.g cerebrovascular accident (including transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) within the 3 months before signing of informed consent

  7. Has undergone an invasive procedure on kidney lesion (e.g. tissue biopsy, surgery, nonsurgical cytoreductive procedure) since identification of lesion via US without contrast

  8. Has any other medical condition or other circumstances that would significantly decrease the chances of obtaining reliable data or of achieving the study objectives such as:

    • Mental illness
    • Drug abuse
  9. Female patient who is pregnant or lactating (the possibility of pregnancy has to be excluded by negative serum or urine beta human chorionic gonadotropin results, obtained within 24 hours before the perflutren lipid administration, or on the basis of patient history, e.g.: tubal ligation, hysterectomy or a minimum of 1 year without menses)

  10. Obesity that limits obtainment of acceptable images

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

63 participants in 1 patient group

Perflutren lipid microsphere
Experimental group
Activate by shaking for 45 seconds using VIALMIX. Use activated product within 5 minutes. Infusion: The recommended infusion dose for activated perflutren is via an IV infusion of 1.3 mL added to 50 mL of preservative-free saline. The rate of infusion should be initiated at 4.0 mL/minute, but titrated as necessary to achieve optimal image enhancement, not to exceed 10 mL/minute per P.I. approval
Drug: Perflutren lipid microsphere

Trial documents

Trial contacts and locations



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