50% Discount Ends Today! Radiopaedia's Cervical Spine X-ray Interpretation Course REGISTER NOW

Intrathoracic kidney

An intrathoracic kidney is a very rare form of ectopic kidney. There has been no reported increased incidence of stones or infections as can be seen with other forms of ectopic kidneys. The adrenal glands are usually normal in location.

Thoracic ectopic kidney is rare with male predominance and incidence of 1/10,000 ectopic kidneys. Left-sided intrathoracic kidney is more common 3.

Intrathoracic kidneys are usually asymptomatic, however in symptomatic patients presenting symptoms include pneumonia, dyspnea, and cough 3.

Renal ascent to thoracic cage is limited by the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic eventration or Bochdalek hernia can lead to an intrathoracic kidney 2.

Appears as a well-defined lower thoracic opacity.

The diagnosis can be easily confirmed by ultrasound. In most cases, the thoracic kidney rests on the diaphragm, so an acoustic window of the liver or spleen can be used to demonstrate it.

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic

Article information

rID: 25951
System: Urogenital
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ectopic thoracic kidney
  • Thoracic kidney
  • Thoracic kidneys
  • Intrathoracic kidneys

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: with congenital diaphragmatic hernia
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.