The early prenatal sonographic diagnosis of renal agenesis: Techniques and possible pitfalls

M. Bronshtein, A. Amit, R. Achiron, I. Noy, Z. Blumenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Out of 13 252 cases in which fetal bilateral echogenic kidneys were detected by transvaginal sonography between 12 and 18 weeks' gestation, there were nine fetuses where oval hypoechogenic masses were detected in the renal bed. In five fetuses where hypoechogenic masses in the renal bed were sonographically visualized, postabortal examination was compatible with renal agenesis and the hypoechogenic masses proved to be enlarged adrenals. In three additional cases, unilateral renal agenesis was accompanied by unilateral enlarged adrenals, radiologically confirmed postnatally. In one case, a false‐positive sonographic diagnosis of Potter syndrome was made because of bilateral hypoechogenic masses in the renal bed. Postabortal examination detected hypoplastic kidneys, but of normal histology, in a dyskaryotic fetus with trisomy 22. In four cases of renal agenesis, the amniotic fluid was of normal volume until the 17th week. In two of the five cases of Potter syndrome, a cystic structure, compatible with the urinary bladder, was detected in the pelvis at 14 weeks. The diagnostic criteria for renal agenesis in the early fetus differ from those used in the second half of gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Potter syndrome
  • Renal agenesis
  • fetal kidney malformations
  • fetal sonography
  • hypoechogenic kidneys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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