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Indian J Urol. 2011 Apr;27(2):169-75. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.82832.

Measurement of renal dimensions in vivo: A critical appraisal.

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Department of Urology, Lourdes Hospital, Kochi, India.


Kidney volume is regarded as the most precise indicator of kidney size. However, volume assessment is not widely used clinically because its measurement is difficult due to the complex kidney shape. Apart from the conventional methods of measurement of renal dimensions from X-rays, ultrasound scan, computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging have evolved as the three best modalities for this purpose currently. Assessment of kidney size should also be made individually since many factors like body mass index, height, gender, age, position of kidneys, sex, stenoses and number of renal arteries influence the measurements. In this paper, we have critically analysed the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods of renal morphometry, by reviewing the literature spanning over the period of 1976 - 2009.


BOLD MRI; computerized tomography; ellipsoid formula; kidney volume; magnetic resonance imaging; ultrasound scan

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