Intraobserver and interobserver variations in sonographic measurements of kidney size in adult volunteers. A comparison of linear measurements and volumetric estimates

Acta Radiol. 1995 Jul;36(4):399-401.


Estimation of renal size by sonography can be performed by measuring renal length, volume, cortical volume or cortical thickness. Observer variation in these measurements is an important factor, especially when repeated measurements are compared. This study was performed to examine the magnitude of intraobserver and interobserver variations for each of the above-mentioned measurements, and to find the measurement with the lowest observer variation. Sonographic measurements were performed by 3 observers on 18 adult volunteers. The standard deviation of the difference (SDD) between any 2 pairs of measurements was used as the indicator of the magnitude of the observer variation. Renal length measurement showed the lowest observer variation with a relative SDD of 4 to 5%. Measurement of cortical thickness showed the poorest reproducibility with a relative SDD of 18 to 23%, while volumetric estimations had a relative SDD of 14 to 17%. Renal length measurement should be preferred to renal volume estimation, especially when comparing repeated measurements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / statistics & numerical data