Unilateral Small Kidney

Harvey L. Neiman, MD; Jack M. Korsower, MD; Maurice M. Reeder, MC
JAMA. 1977;238(9):971-972. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280100055026.
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  1. Chronic pyelonephritis

  2. Obstructive renal atrophy

  3. Renal artery stenosis with ischemia (eg, arteriosclerosis, thromboembolism, fibromuscular hyperplasia, congenital stenosis)


  1. Congenital hypoplastic kidney

  2. Partial nephrectomy

  3. Radiation therapy

  4. Renal infarction (late)

  5. Tuberculosis

Diagnosis  Chronic pyelonephritis.

Comment  The excretory urogram demonstrates a poorly functioning, small right kidney and a normal left kidney (Fig 1). A selected view from the early arterial phase of an aortogram shows reduced vascularity of the small right kidney (Fig 2). Capillary phase of the aortogram shows indentations on the outline of the small right kidney with clear demarcation of cortex and medulla (Fig 3).Unilateral small kidney, as seen here, may result from a number of causes. First, however, the "small" kidney must be defined. In general, renal size is proportional to body size. In children 1 1/2 to 14 years of age, the average kidney length corresponds to


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