AIM: To report the morphology of maternal kidneys captured on fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including kidney length, volume, renal pelvis diameter, and corticomedullary differentiation in pregnancy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of maternal kidney morphology captured incidentally on fetal MRI. Women without chronic kidney disease, with a complete view of both kidneys and a singleton pregnancy were included. Kidney length, maximal renal pelvis diameter, kidney volume, and corticomedullary differentiation ratio were measured independently in duplicate. Associations with maternal and pregnancy variables were explored using linear regression. RESULTS: MRI images from 42 women were performed at 22–32 weeks' gestation. Serum creatinine concentrations are not checked routinely during pregnancy and were available for 15 (36%) women, with a median creatinine of 57 μmol/l (IQR: 50–63 μmol/l). Mean interpolar lengths were 10.9 and 10.4 cm for the left and right kidneys and varied with height. Mean maximal renal pelvis diameters were 9 mm and 12 mm, with upper reference intervals of 17 and 25 mm for the left and right kidneys, respectively. Renal volume in pregnancy was within the non-pregnant reference interval and varied with height and gestation. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal kidney length and volume in pregnancy are within the normal reference intervals for non-pregnant women. Renal pelvis diameter in pregnancy measured using MRI is substantially higher than described previously by ultrasound, with implications for routine reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-552
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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