Persistent fetal lobulation of the kidneys

Persistent fetal lobulation is a normal variant seen occasionally in adult kidneys. It occurs when there is incomplete fusion of the developing renal lobules. Embryologically, the kidneys originate as distinct lobules that fuse as they develop and grow.

It is often seen on ultrasound, CT or MRI as smooth indentations of the renal outline in between renal pyramids.

Differential diagnosis

They should be distinguished from renal cortical scarring, which generally overlie the pyramids.


Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 6237
System: Urogenital
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Persistent fetal lobulation of kidneys
  • Persistent fetal lobulation
  • Perisitent renal fetal lobulatation

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    CE MRA (3D FSPGR+C)
    Case 1: persistant lobulation in left hypoplastic kidney
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    Case 2
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