What is the role of ultrasonography in the workup of azotemia?

Updated: Apr 24, 2020
  • Author: Moro O Salifu, MD, MPH, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Renal ultrasonography is the most commonly used renal imaging study because of its ease of use and broad applicability for the following purposes [10] :

  • Determination of renal size and echogenicity, which is important when considering renal biopsy; small echogenic kidneys (< 9 cm) may suggest scarring from advanced renal disease, whereas normal or large kidneys with smooth contours may indicate a potentially reversible process

  • Differentiation of cystic lesions from solid lesions

  • Diagnosis of urinary tract obstruction (for which it is the test of choice)

  • Detection of kidney stones

Doppler renal ultrasonography can be used to evaluate renal vascular flow (eg, for identification of renal vein thrombosis, renal infarction, or renal artery stenosis).

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