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Renal Exam

Renal Percussion

November 28th, 2019


  • How to Perform

  • With the patient sitting, place one palm over the costovertebral angle and use the ulnar aspect of the other hand (in a fist) to gently percuss the kidneys.
  • Significance

  • Flank tenderness to percussion is a relatively sensitive sign for renal pathology, especially pyelonephritis and perinephric abscess.
  • Causes of Flank Tenderness

  • Infection - pyelonephritis, perinephric abscess
  • Malignancy - renal cell carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma
  • Renal infarction
  • Trauma
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