Fetal renal volume in normal gestation: a three-dimensional ultrasound study

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2000 Oct;26(8):1253-6. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(00)00298-2.


To establish a reference chart of fetal kidneys in normal pregnancy, we performed a prospective and cross-sectional study. A total of 152 singleton fetuses ranging between 20 and 40 weeks' gestation and meeting the criteria of normal pregnancies were included. Three-dimensional ultrasound (3-D US) was used to measure the fetal renal volume. Our results revealed that both renal volumes are highly correlated with the fetal gestational age. Using gestational age (GA) as the independent variable and right renal volume (RRV) as the dependent variable, the best-fit regression equation was RRV (mL)=0.74053xGA (week)-13.318 (r = 0.89, p < 0.001). Similarly, the best-fit equation for the left renal volume (LRV) was LRV (mL)=0. 76093xGA (week)-13.421 (r = 0.86, p < 0.001). The normal growth centiles of both kidneys were established based on these two equations. There were no significant differences of the volumes between bilateral kidneys. In conclusion, our data of fetal renal volumes assessed by 3-D US may serve as a reference in evaluating fetal renal growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gestational Age*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*