Congenital or Early Developmental Versus Later Acquired Renal Function Asymmetry Scintigraphic Characteristics

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A congenitally or developmentally small right kidney in an adult spinal cord injury patient had only 12% of total uptake on radioiodine-labeled orthoiodohippurate renography but nevertheless had a normal-shaped time-activity curve. In a subsequent retrospective review of 175 consecutive radioiodine-labeled ortholodohippurate renograms performed on adult patients over a 3-years period, 35 other patients with studies showing greater than 2:1 asymmetry in renal function were identified. Uptake, clearance or both were abnormal in all 35 kidneys with less than 33.3% of function, with the left kidney more commonly affected (N = 24). Correlation from ultrasound, computerized tomography, intravenous pyelography, and angiography demonstrated acquired abnormalities associated with all 35 of these kidneys, including urinary obstruction (n = 20), renal artery stenosis (n = 9), and cortical scarring/Infection and/or reflux (N = 15) (some patients had more than one diagnosis). While acquired renal function asymmetry almost always results in a smaller kidney with abnormal uptake or clearance characteristics, a congenitally small kidney may have overall reduced blood flow but still display a normal-shaped time-activity curve on radionuclide renography.

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