Sonographic evaluation of maternal kidneys in normal pregnancy


  • Shawnm Nasih Dawood Department of surgery, college of medicine, Hawler medical university, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Salwa Ahmed Amin Department of surgery, college of medicine, Hawler medical university, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Samira Salim ShekhMuhammed Erbil maternity hospital, Erbil, Iraq.



Sonography, Maternal kidneys, Normal pregnancy, Hydronephrosis


Background and Objectives: Renal disease can affect the outcome of pregnancy. The renal system undergoes significant physiological and anatomical changes during pregnancy. Ultrasound is the commonest imaging modality used in the evaluation of the abdominal organs in pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to sonographically evaluate the kidneys in normal pregnancy. Methods: A prospective descriptive study in which real time B-mode renal ultrasound was performed on 500 pregnant women attending for a routine obstetric ultrasound scan. Questions about the age, parity and presence of loin pain were asked. Obstetrical ultrasound examination was initially performed followed by examination of maternal kidneys. Results: Renal collecting system dilatation was the main abnormal finding; it was present in 18.2% of cases, (15.2% right side and 3% left side). Bilateral hydronephrosis was seen in (2.6%) of cases. Rate of hydronephrosis was more in primiparous women. Other findings were renal stones (2.8% right and 1.8% left sides, respectively), ureteric stone (0.2%) and acute pyelonephritis (1%). Conclusions: This study established the value of renal sonography in the pregnant women, though not a common condition. Renal collecting system dilatation was the main finding. A significant proportion of patients with asymptomatic renal calculi were detected incidentally.


Metrics Loading ...


Weerakkod Y. Maternalhydronephrosis in pregnancy. Available from: . Accessed at Feb. 2014.

Edgar VL, Jeffery SB, Allen RN. Current diagnosis and treatment: Nephrology and hypertension. Chapter 55. Pregnancy and renal disease. USA: McGraw Hill Companies; 2009.

Rasmussen PE, Nielsen FR. Hydronephrosis during pregnancy: a literature survey. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1988; 27(3):249-59.

Glanc P, Maxwell C. Acute Abdomen in Pregnancy: role of Sonography. J Ultrasound Med 2010; 29:1457-68.

Faundes A, Bricola-Filho M, Pinto e Silva JL. Dilatation of the urinary tract during pregnancy: proposal of a curve of maximal caliceal diameter by gestational age. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998; 178:1082–6.

The S, Chan L. Pelvicalyceal dilatation in maternal kidneys during normal pregnancy-an uncommon finding?. Ultrasound ObstetGynecol 2007; 30(4):529.

Puskar D, Balagović I, Filipović A. Symptomatic physiologic hydronephrosis in pregnancy: incidence, complications and treatment. EurUrol 2001; 39(3):260-3.

Fainaru O, Almog B, Gamzu R. The management of symptomatic hydronephrosis in pregnancy. BJOG 2002; 109(12):1385-7.

Srirangam SJ, Hickerton B, Van Cleynenbreugel B. Management of urinary calculi in pregnancy: a review. J Endourol 2008; 22(5):867-75.

Proia L, Lippa A, Valente A. Review on renal calculosis in pregnancy. ClinTer 1997; 148(12):667-73.

Rosenberg E, Sergienko R, Abu-Ghanem S. Nephrolithiasis during pregnancy: characteristics, complications, and pregnancy outcome. World J Urol 2011; 29(6):743-7.

Travassos M, Amselem I, Filho NS, Miguel M, Ureteroscopy in pregnant women for ureteral stone. J Endourol 2009; 23(3):405-7.

McGready R1, Wuthiekanun V, Ashley EA, Tan SO, Pimanpanarak M, Viladpai-Nguen SJ. Diagnostic and treatment difficulties of pyelonephritis in pregnancy in resource-limited settings. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2010; 83(6):1322-9.

Gibson KJ , Thomson CL , Boyce AC , Karime BM , Eugenie R. Effects of a reduction in maternal renal mass on pregnancy and cardiovascular and renal function of the pregnant ewe. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2006; 290:1153-62.

Huxley RR, Shiell AW, Law CM. The role of size at birth and postnatal catch-up growth in determining systolic blood pressure: a systematic review of the literature. J Hypertens 2000; 18:815-31.

Enighe W, Henry A, Nelson C, Antony O, Ugboma. Sonographic Evaluation of the renal volume in normal pregnancy at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital: A Pilot Study. J Clin Diagn Res 2012; 6(2):234-8.

Karabulut N, BakiYağci A, Karabulut A. Renal vein Doppler ultrasound of maternal kidneys in normal second and third trimester pregnancy. Brit J Radiol 2003; 76:444-7.

Siyal A, Abbasi A, ShaikhSh, Shaikh FA. Maternal hydronephrosis in pregnancy: ultrasonic evaluation after 30 weeks of gestation.Med channel J. 2010; 16(4). Available from: Accessed at Feb. 2014

Sharma P, Thapa L. Acute pyelonephritis in pregnancy: a retrospective study.

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2007; 47(4):313-5.

Bajwa SJS, Kwatra IS, Bajwa SK, Kaur M. Renal diseases during pregnancy: Critical and current perspectives. J Obstet Anaesth Crit Care2013; 3:7-15.




How to Cite

Dawood, S. N., Amin, S. A., & ShekhMuhammed, S. S. (2015). Sonographic evaluation of maternal kidneys in normal pregnancy. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 19(1), 880_885.



Original Articles