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Kidney Ultrasound

A kidney ultrasound is an examination showing the size, shape, and contour of the kidneys and bladder. It also shows anything that might be forming such as a cyst or mass.

Indications:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Flank pain
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Proteinuria (protein in the urine)
  • Elevated renal function tests
  • Abnormal kidney function test

Risk factors:

  • Family history of polycystic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Birth defects of the kidneys
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Injury or trauma
  • Kidney stones or infection
  • Certain pain medications
  • Numerous drugs
  • Reflux nephropathy

What is involved?

The ultrasound of the kidneys will be performed with the patient lying flat on the table on his/her back. The patient’s shirt will be lifted up and the pants lowered by the hip region.  Sometimes the patient may be asked to lie on his/her sides to better optimize the kidneys. A small amount of warm gel will be placed on both sides of the abdomen and at the bladder region. The technician will be using a transducer that will be moved around on the patient’s kidney and bladder area to be able to produce images for the doctor. The test will take approximately 20 minutes.