The evaluation and comparison of kidney length obtained from axial cuts in spiral CT scan with its true length


1 Department of Radiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 General Physician, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Applied Physiology research center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Increased size of kidney is the main symptom of pyelonephritis and renal ischemia in children. Ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scan methods are the imaging methods for evaluating the urogenital system. The aim of this study is to compare the kidney length obtained from spiral CT scan with the true length obtained from multi-slice CT.
Materials and Methods: From 100 patients 200 kidneys were examined in Alzahra Hospital in 2012. Multi-slice CT was used to obtain coronal and sagittal cuts to find the length of kidneys.
Results: The mean values of true size of axial sections of the right and left kidneys were 108.37 ± 12.3 mm and 109.74 ± 13.6 mm, respectively. The mean difference of axial sections' lengths in the right and left kidneys was 1.37 ± 1.22 mm. The mean values of length in the spiral CT scan of the right and left kidneys were 98.61 ± 15.8 mm and 103.11 ± 15.9 mm, respectively. The difference in the estimated size by multi-slice CT scan in oblique and axial images was significant (9.77 ± 1.19 mm and 6.63 ± 0.8 mm for the right and left kidneys, respectively (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The average size of both kidneys determined in axial images was smaller than the actual size. The estimation of kidney size in axial images is not reliable, and to obtain the actual size, it is required to have the coronal and sagittal cuts with proper quality, which could be achieved by multi-slice method.


Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS. Harrison's principles of internal medicine. 16 th ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 2005. p. 1653-63.  Back to cited text no. 1
Stone JA, Xu X, Winchell GA, Deutsch PJ, Pearson PG, Migoya EM, et al. Disposition of caspofungin: Role of distribution in determining pharmacokinetics in plasma. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2004;48:815-23.  Back to cited text no. 2
Christensen T, Klebe J, Bertelsen V. changes in renal volume during normal pregnancy. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1989;1:541-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sanusi AA, Arogundade FA, Famurewa OC, Akintomide AO, Soyinka FO, Ojo OE, et al. Relationship of ultrasonographically determined kidney volume with measured GFR, calculated creatinine clearance and other parameters in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Nephrol Dial Transplant 2009;24:1690-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Davidovits M, Eisenstein B, Ziv N, Krause I, Cleper R, Bar-Sever Z. Unilateral duplicated system: Comparative length and function of the kidneys. Clin Nucl Med 2004;29:99-102.  Back to cited text no. 5
Alexander MP, Patel TV, Farag YM, Florez A, Rennke HG, Singh AK. Kidney pathological changes in Metabolic disorder. Am J Kidney Dis 2009;53:751-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
Sutton D. Textbook of Radiology and Imaging. 7 th ed. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2003. p. 885-988.  Back to cited text no. 7
Armstrong P, Wastie ML. Diagnostic imaging. London: Backwell; 2009. p. 834-65.  Back to cited text no. 8
Kang KY, Lee YJ, Park SC, Yang CW, Kim YS, Moon IS, et al. A comparative study of methods of estimating kidney length in kidney transplantation donors. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2007;22:2322-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
Glodny B, Unterholzner V, Taferner B, Hofmann KJ, Rehder P, Strasak A, et al. Normal kidney size and its influencing factors-a 64 slice MDCT study of 1040 asymptomatic patients. BMC Urol 2009;9:19.  Back to cited text no. 10
Thakur V, Watkins T, McCarthy K, Beidl T, Underwood N, Barnes K, et al. Is kidney length a good predictor of kidney volume?. Am J Med Sci 1997;313:85-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
Ninan VT, Koshi KT, Niyamthullah MM, Jacob CK, Gopalakrishnan G, Pandey AP, et al. A comparative study of methods of estimating renal size in normal adults. Nephrol Dial Transplant 1990;5:851-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
Widjaja E, Oxtoby JW, Hale TL, Jones PW, Harden PN, McCall IW. Ultrasound measured renal length versus low dose CT volume in predicting single kidney glomerular filtration rate. Br J Radiol 2004;77:759-64.  Back to cited text no. 13
Chen JJ, Pugach J. The renal length nomogram: A multivariable approach. The J Urol 2002;166:2149-52.  Back to cited text no. 14