Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Urol. 2013 Feb;189(2):562-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.09.040. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Renal calyceal anatomy characterization with 3-dimensional in vivo computerized tomography imaging.

Author information

University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.



Calyceal selection for percutaneous renal access is critical for safe, effective performance of percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Available anatomical evidence is contradictory and incomplete. We present detailed renal calyceal anatomy obtained from in vivo 3-dimentional computerized tomography renderings.


A total of 60 computerized tomography urograms were randomly selected. The renal collecting system was isolated and 3-dimensional renderings were constructed. The primary plane of each calyceal group of 100 kidneys was determined. A coronal maximum intensity projection was used for simulated percutaneous access. The most inferior calyx was designated calyx 1. Moving superiorly, the subsequent calyces were designated calyx 2 and, when present, calyx 3. The surface rendering was rotated to assess the primary plane of the calyceal group and the orientation of the select calyx.


The primary plane of the upper pole calyceal group was mediolateral in 95% of kidneys and the primary plane of the lower pole calyceal group was anteroposterior in 95%. Calyx 2 was chosen in 90 of 97 simulations and it was appropriate in 92%. Calyx 3 was chosen in 7 simulations but it was appropriate in only 57%. Calyx 1 was not selected in any simulation and it was anteriorly oriented in 75% of kidneys.


Appropriate lower pole calyceal access can be reliably accomplished with an understanding of the anatomical relationship between individual calyceal orientation and the primary plane of the calyceal group. Calyx 2 is most often appropriate for accessing the anteroposterior primary plane of the lower pole. Calyx 1 is most commonly oriented anterior.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center