Study of the renal Parenchymal volume during the human fetal period

Vol. 45 (1): 150-160, January – February, 2019

doi: 10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2018.0538


Andre L. Lima Diniz 1, Nadia C. Pinheiro Rodrigues 1, Francisco J. B. Sampaio 1, Luciano A. Favorito 1
1 Unidade de Pesquisa Urogenital, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, UERJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil


Objective: To evaluate the renal parenchymal area in human fetuses, providing a descriptive analysis on the renal area development by demographic factors during the second gestational trimester.

Material and Methods: We analyzed 84 fetuses (44 males and 40 females), for a total of 168 renal units evaluated in terms of longitudinal length, superior pole width, inferior pole width and thickness. Renal volume was calculated by ellipsoid formula. After renal pelvis dissection, length and width were evaluated; as pelvis is free of urine, we considered thickness as 1mm. Renal pelvis volume was also calculated by ellipsoid formula.

Renal parenchymal area was assessed by excluding the volume of the renal pelvis from the total renal volume. We performed the statistical analysis by simple linear regression assessing the association between the variables analyzed with the fetal age.

Results: Gestational age ranged from 12 to 23 weeks post conception. Mean renal parenchymal area of the right kidney was 666.22mm3 (45.86 to 2375.35mm3) and for the left kidney was 606.76mm3 (68.63 to 2402.57mm3). No statistical difference was observed between the sides (p-value = 0.3456) or genders (p-value = 0.07429). Linear regression between renal parenchymal volume and gestational age was positive for right kidney (y = 133.74x-1479.94 / r² = 0.4009) and left kidney (y = 149.53x-1761.59 / r² = 0.4591).

Conclusions: The linear regression analysis indicated that renal parenchymal area correlated significantly and positively with fetal age, weight and crown-rump length with no statistical differences between gender or laterality. These growth curves provide a reference for functional volume of the kidney during fetal period.

Keywords: Hydronephrosis; Fetus; Kidney; Parenchymal Tissue

[Full Text]