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Radiology. 1986 Oct;161(1):27-9.

Multicystic dysplastic kidney: observations of contralateral disease in the fetal population.


To evaluate multicystic dysplastic kidney (MDK) and associated contralateral renal abnormalities in the fetal population, 27 cases detected and followed in utero were reviewed retrospectively. The sonographic assessment included estimation of amniotic fluid volume and interval growth, evaluation for non-genitourinary anomalies, and postnatal follow-up study. Contralateral renal anomalies were detected in 41% of the fetuses and included obstruction of the ureteropelvic junction, renal agenesis, renal hypoplasia, and bilateral MDK. The incidences of these malformations were compared with results of earlier studies of MDK in the pediatric and adult populations. Lethal anomalies, such as bilateral MDK and MDK associated with contralateral agenesis, are common (19% and 11%, respectively) in the fetal population; obstruction of the contralateral ureteropelvic junction, a nonlethal anomaly, was seen less commonly (7%). Perinatal death from lethal abnormalities may spuriously raise the incidence of nonlethal contralateral abnormalities in the pediatric and adult populations. Contralateral mild fetal pyelectasis, found in 15% of fetuses with MDK, was not clinically significant.

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