What is the role of renal ultrasonography in the workup of acute kidney injury (AKI)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Biruh T Workeneh, MD, PhD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Renal ultrasonography is useful for evaluating existing renal disease and obstruction of the urinary collecting system. Obtaining images of the kidneys can be technically difficult in patients who are obese, however, as well as in those with abdominal distention from ascites, gas, or retroperitoneal fluid collection.

The degree of hydronephrosis found on an ultrasonogram does not necessarily correlate with the degree of obstruction. Mild hydronephrosis may be observed with complete obstruction if found early. Small kidneys suggest chronic renal failure.

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