Original Research

Normal variance in renal size in relation to body habitus

Werner S Harmse
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 15, No 4 | a355 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v15i4.355 | © 2011 Werner S Harmse | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2011 | Published: 07 December 2011


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Abstract

Objective. Renal length determination is common in everyday radiology practice. However, a normal range of kidney sizes may not apply to people of all body habitus. This study investigates this relationship in order to determine normal ranges in relation to body habitus. A secondary aim was to evaluate the relationship of renal size to gender and race.
Methods. Kidney lengths were measured on oblique coronal reformatted CT images of 514 patients who received routine abdominal CT scans for conditions unrelated to renal pathology. The patients had normal serum creatinine levels, no history of renal disease, no renal masses, and normal-appearing kidneys on CT. Weight, height, race and gender of the patients were recorded.
Results. The mean renal length was 108 mm with a standard deviation of 9.82 mm. Statistical analysis demonstrated a relationship between kidney size and body weight and height, both individually and collectively. The most accurate prediction model was ‘kidney size = 49.18 + 0.21 x weight + 0.27 x height’, with a R2-value of 0.32. Additionally, kidneys were generally larger in the white population than in the black, and also in males than females.
Conclusion. Normal renal size varies according to patients' body habitus. This variation can be expressed as a function of body weight and height, which can be represented by a nomogram and used as an easy reference in clinical practice.

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