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Palpable Kidney

August 18th, 2017

Renal Palpation

The kidneys are not palpable in most normal patients, though may be palpable in thin patients and children.
  • How to Perform

  • With the patient supine, place one hand on the abdomen over the kidney and the other hand over the flank posteriorly. Attempt to ballot the kidney between the two hands. Repeat on both sides.
  • Causes of Palpable Kidney

  • Hydronephrosis - kidney stone, ureteric clot, tumour, stricture
  • Congenital - horseshoe kidney, nephroblastomatosis
  • Cysts - benign cyst, polycystic kidney disease, Von-Hippel-Lindau disease
  • Malignancy - renal cell carcinoma, lymphoma
  • Renal hypertrophy - single kidney, contralateral reduced renal function
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