Horseshoe kidney

Case contributed by Sally Ayesa
Diagnosis certain


Recurrent urinary tract infections. Abnormal configuration of the kidney on renal ultrasound.

Patient Data

Age: 6 months
Gender: Female


Nuclear medicine

99mTc-DMSA images demonstrate abnormal anatomical location of the kidneys, which are fused at their inferior and mid-poles and positioned within the pelvis. Images are in keeping with a horseshoe kidney. 

The renal cortical outline is entirely regular, with no evidence of renal cortical scarring. Differential function is mildly asymmetric, 61% left and 39% right. 


Case Discussion

DMSA studies give useful diagnostic information regarding the anatomical configuration of the kidneys, in this case confirming a pelvic horseshoe kidney. Horseshoe kidneys can be prone to increased complications due to their impaired drainage, or be asymptomatic. 

Children experiencing recurrent UTIs may undergo a DMSA scan to assess for the presence of renal cortical scarring, which can lead to decreased renal function if untreated. 

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