Sonographic evaluation of kidney parenchymal growth in the fetus

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012 Oct;286(4):867-72. doi: 10.1007/s00404-012-2376-5. Epub 2012 May 24.


Objective: The aim of the study was to establish a nomogram for renal parenchymal thickness throughout pregnancy.

Methods: One-hundred and twenty-eight healthy women with singleton, well-dated, uncomplicated second- or third-trimester pregnancies were prospectively evaluated for renal parenchymal thickness on routine ultrasound scans. The renal parenchyma was measured in transverse and sagittal sections using predefined criteria.

Results: There were no differences in anterior or posterior parenchymal measurements in either plane by fetal sex. On sagittal-section analysis, no differences were noted between the right and left kidneys. A nomogram was established on the basis of the findings. The results showed constant linear growth of the fetal parenchyma during pregnancy.

Conclusions: The normal fetal parenchyma grows at a constant, linear rate throughout pregnancy. The nomogram formulated may serve as a basis of future studies of the correlation of parenchymal thickness with postnatal kidney function in fetuses with urinary tract anomalies.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Male
  • Nomograms
  • Observer Variation
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal