What is the role of renal ultrasonography in the workup of chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Renal ultrasonography is useful to screen for hydronephrosis, which may not be observed in early obstruction, or involvement of the retroperitoneum with fibrosis, tumor, or diffuse adenopathy. Small, echogenic kidneys are observed in advanced renal failure.

In contrast, kidneys usually are normal in size in advanced diabetic nephropathy, in which affected kidneys are initially enlarged from hyperfiltration. Structural abnormalities, such as those indicative of polycystic kidneys, also may be observed on ultrasonograms.

Renal ultrasonography is the initial imaging modality of choice for children. However, radiologists must have specific training to be able to recognize abnormal kidney size or development in pediatric patients.

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