top of page

Project P7

Understanding and monitoring renal microvascular remodeling in CKD by super-resolution ultrasound

Project 7

PD Dr. rer. nat. Sonja Djudjaj, PhD

Institute of Pathology

Department of Nephrology

University hospital RWTH Aachen


Institute of Pathology



Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Fabian Kiessling

Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging

RWTH Aachen University


Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg Schmitz

Chair for Medical Engineering

Ruhr University Bochum


Medical Engineering



Pathological microvascular remodeling and microvascular dysfunction are common findings and contributing factors in progressive CKD, but in-vivo imaging methods that allow for their quantification are not available. Recently, we developed a super-resolution ultrasound method, enabling a highly detailed microvascular characterization of tissues at the morphologic and functional level.

We here aim to develop super-resolution ultrasound for experimental and clinical nephrology to analyze microvascular alterations in kidney diseases. Our aims are to (i) establish super-resolution ultrasound imaging in mice and humans and ii) investigate renal microvascular remodeling during the transition from AKI to CKD including the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). Furthermore, using super-resolution ultrasound and radiomic analyses, we will perform a first clinical trial with patients with different stages of CKD.

Dencks, S, Piepenbrock, M, Schmitz, G. Assessing Vessel Reconstruction in Ultrasound Localization Microscopy by Maximum-Likelihood Estimation of a Zero-Inflated Poisson Model. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 2020; 67:1603-1612

Dencks S, Piepenbrock M, Opacic T, Krauspe B, Stickeler E, Kiessling F, Schmitz G. Clinical Pilot Application of Super-Resolution US Imaging in Breast Cancer. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 2019; 66:517-526.

Opacic T, Dencks S, Theek B, Piepenbrock M, Ackermann D, Rix A, Lammers T, Stickeler E, Delorme S, Schmitz G, Kiessling F. Motion model ultrasound localization microscopy for preclinical and clinical multiparametric tumor characterization. Nat Commun 2018; 9(1527)

Stoppe C, Averdunk L, Goetzenich A, Soppert J, Marlier A, Kraemer S, Vieten J, Coburn M, Stevanovic A, Kim B-S, Marx G, Rex S, Ochi A, Leng L, Moeckel G, Linkermann A, El Bounkari O, Zarbock A, Bernhagen J, Djudjaj S* & Bucala R* & Boor P* (*joint last). The protective role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery. Sci Transl Med 2018; 10(441):eaan4886

Ehling J, Bábíčková J, Gremse F, Klinkhammer BM, Baetke S, Knuechel R, Kiessling F, Floege J, Lammers T, Boor P. Quantitative Micro-Computed Tomography Imaging of Vascular Dysfunction in Progressive Kidney Diseases. J Am Soc Nephrol 2016; 27:520-32

Selected Publications

bottom of page