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Prenat Diagn. 1990 Mar;10(3):175-82.

Multicystic dysplastic kidney: natural history of prenatally detected cases.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville 22908.


To delineate the natural history of fetal multicystic dysplastic kidneys (MDKs), all cases that were prenatally detected in the Prenatal Diagnosis Center of the University of Virginia from September 1985 to 31 August 1988 were reviewed. All patients were followed through the Center with serial ultrasound evaluations at approximately 4-week intervals, and each liveborn infant was evaluated and followed by one of the authors (S.S.H.). Of the 14 cases detected, ten were detected in the second trimester, the earliest at 16.5 weeks' gestation. Of the nine fetuses with non-lethal disease, there were two cases in which the lesion remained unchanged during observation. Both had an initial diagnosis in the third trimester. In those cases diagnosed in the second trimester (7), all showed an initial increase in the size and number of cysts, followed by involutional changes either in utero (2) or in the neonatal period (3). Two infants had immediate surgical removal of the MDK, one because of respiratory compromise, and the other because of an uncertain diagnosis on renal scan. Abnormalities of the contralateral kidney were found in 7 of 14 fetuses. Five were lethal conditions. Associated non-renal abnormalities were common in bilateral MDK (80 per cent), but rare in unilateral MDK (11 per cent).

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