Diagnostic sonography of HIV-associated nephropathy: new observations and clinical correlation

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1998 Sep;171(3):713-6. doi: 10.2214/ajr.171.3.9725302.


Objective: HIV-associated nephropathy is an important cause of morbidity that is characterized clinically by uremia and proteinuria and histologically by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. In the largest series yet analyzed to our knowledge, we describe new sonographic findings and record the prevalence of other findings. We review the sonographic findings in a large group of HIV-infected patients.

Materials and methods: Seventy-six consecutive HIV-infected patients underwent renal sonography. Abnormalities seen on sonography were recorded.

Results: Of 152 kidneys imaged, sonography showed that 30 kidneys (20%) were enlarged. Abnormal echogenicity was present in 136 kidneys (89%). Eighty-one kidneys (53%) were globular; 58 (38%) had decreased corticomedullary definition; 74 (49%) had decreased renal sinus fat; and 66 (43%) had heterogeneous parenchyma, some with echogenic striations.

Conclusion: Our data reveal several sonographic abnormalities that have not previously been described: decreased corticomedullary definition, decreased renal sinus fat, parenchymal heterogeneity, and globular renal configuration. These new findings were found mainly in patients with advanced HIV infection.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / diagnostic imaging*
  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Renal Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography