MRI estimation of total renal volume demonstrates significant association with healthy donor weight

Eur J Radiol. 2009 Aug;71(2):283-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.03.006. Epub 2008 Apr 23.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to correlate total renal volume (TRV) calculations, obtained through the voxel-count method and ellipsoid formula with various physical characteristics.

Materials and methods: MRI reports and physical examination from 210 healthy kidney donors (420 kidneys), on whom renal volumes were obtained using the voxel-count method, were retrospectively reviewed. These values along with ones obtained through a more traditional method (ellipsoid formula) were correlated with subject height, body weight, body mass index (BMI), and age.

Results: TRV correlated strongly with body weight (r=0.7) and to a lesser degree with height, age, or BMI (r=0.5, -0.2, 0.3, respectively). The left kidney volume was greater than the right, on average (p<0.001). The ellipsoid formula method over-estimated renal volume by 17% on average which was significant (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Body weight was the physical characteristic which demonstrated the strongest correlation with renal volume in healthy subjects. Given this finding, a formula was derived for estimating the TRV for a given patient based on the his or her weight: TRV = 2.96 x weight (kg) + 113+/-64.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology*
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Tissue Donors*