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Perirenal space

Last revised by Dr Ayla Al Kabbani on 11 Jun 2019

The perirenal space is the largest of the three divisions of the retroperitoneum and is the most easily identified. It contains the kidneys, renal vessels, proximal collecting systems, adrenal glands and an adequate amount of fat to allow identification on CT scanning. It also contains the perinephric bridging septa of Kunin 5.

The space is surrounded by the perirenal fascia and is in continuity with the opposite perirenal space across the midline. It abuts the bare area of the liver on the right and the subphrenic space on the left; there is mediastinal communication via the various diaphragmatic hiatus.

In disease, the space is usually closed inferiorly, preventing pelvic spread.

Related pathology

Lesions that may involve the perirenal space include 4:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: retroperitoneum (axial) Images
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  • Figure 2: retroperitoneum (posterior dissection)
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  • Figure 3: retroperitoneal spaces
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  • Figure 4: retroperitoneum
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