Ultrasound of the kidneys during pregnancy

Pregnancy is not only poetically sung as a happy and awaiting the birth of your baby, but also a complex process of adaptation of the maternal organism, aimed at creating optimal conditions for the growth and development of the fetus.

The necessary changes affect virtually every system, changing not only the load, but sometimes the bodies themselves. Of particular importance is the condition of the urinary system of a pregnant, because the kidney function with the increased load, trying to ensure purification of an organism from products of metabolism not only the mother but also the fetus.

For full control over the condition of a pregnant woman nowadays use a variety of research – the analysis of a blood (clinical and biochemical), urine analysis (Nechiporenko, zimnitskiy). But to get the full picture allows ultrasound of the kidneys during pregnancy. It’s safe to call this method the gold standard in screening pregnant women. It is fast, convenient, fairly safe and gives maximum diagnostic information with minimum discomfort to the patient.

Ultrasound examination of the kidneys (may be called also sonography) is the organ and its vessels in white and grey color. Dense formation (e.g. a stone) will be better, sacs of fluid (cysts) – almost black. Ultrasound allows you to see even the finest nine-millimeter ureters in the form of a light wall.

Thus, the doctor can determine:

  • the size of the body, its structure is homogenous with inclusions;
  • concretions – rocks or sand;
  • possible tumors or cysts;
  • a change in the lumen of the ureter;
  • changing the position of the kidneys, for example, omission;
  • a variety of inflammation – the tissues of the kidneys or blood vessels;
  • suppurative lesions – abscesses.

Special sensor of the ultrasound apparatus can evaluate the condition of the blood vessels of the kidneys (their height, length, permeability) and rate of blood flow in them. This study is called Doppler.

What does it do

In fact, after the examination, to detect any pathological changes in the kidneys and urinary system and thus prevent complications of pregnancy in the early stages of development. Ideally, it would have to assign to every pregnant woman, because even in previously healthy women, pregnancy often contributes to the development of the following diseases:

Pyelonephritis is the most common infectious disease. The risk of its development increases with time and have for the second half of pregnancy, when the maximum increases the load on the mother’s body.

The defeat of kidney in pyelonephritis

The next incidence of pregnant pathology – kidney stones. Its development is promoted by increasing the salt concentration in urine, urinary disorders, various hormonal changes that regulate metabolism.

Hydronephrosis is also a frequent companion of pregnant women as the growing fetus compresses the ureters and there is a hyperextension contents of the pelvis in the kidney due to violation of the outflow of urine.

Glomerulonephritis – a particularly dangerous inflammatory disease primarily because of the emerging consequences. Namely, the possibility of premature detachment of the placenta, miscarriage, impaired blood coagulation system and severe manifestations of preeclampsia.

Also damage to the kidneys, manifested by a high content of protein in the urine and a high blood pressure, can cause preeclampsia (aggravated variant of preeclampsia – toxemia of pregnancy). A woman who had preeclampsia or eclampsia have an increased risk for its development during the next pregnancy.

That should make immediately to get an ultrasound of the kidneys

Your own observations and feelings:

  • Discomfort during urination in the form of itching, burning, the feeling of not completely empty the bladder.
  • Urine is an unusual color – brown, mixed with blood, the so-called color “meat slops”. There was a pungent unpleasant smell.
  • Urine leaves a visible sand or pebbles.
  • Against the background of increased temperature, pains in the abdomen or lower back, the back.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Appeared swelling.
  • You suspect that could injure the lower back or abdomen.

Medical indications:

  • In the blood and urine tests are signs of inflammation, protein.
  • Hormonal changes, exacerbation of diseases of the endocrine system.
  • The presence of chronic diseases of the genitourinary system – chronic pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis, the tendency to form urate.
  • Pathology of the development of the genitourinary system (e.g., convoluted ureters).
Security measures

So, on one bowl of scales – certainly the use of ultrasound (as a highly informative method of diagnosis), but what about security? Is it possible to do an ultrasound of the kidneys during pregnancy?

It is known that studies on ultrasound exposure in the development of the embryo/fetus was carried out mainly on laboratory mice. However, the results show that the possibility of a hidden exposure to ultrasound at diagnostic power of radiation is extremely small. Moreover, this research method is widely used in the world practice for many years, and proven harmful effects.

But do not neglect some of the rules so as not to expose yourself and your baby at unnecessary risk:

  1. Ultrasound should be used only when necessary, according to the testimony, after all, can not be considered 100% safe. Theoretically, if you are not careful it can cause thermal or mechanical damaging effects on developing fetus.
  2. Ultrasound should be performed only by medical personnel, complying with the maximum duration time and minimum diagnostic capacity of the device.
  3. The equipment must be in good technical condition.
Procedure ultrasound

Well, you measure a theoretical risk and the importance of diagnostic information, made a decision and you prepare for a renal ultrasound. How do ultrasound?

Probes for transvaginal and abdominal ultrasound

Because when you perform a transvaginal procedure, it is theoretically possible to get infected and also because of the risk of miscarriage, the study is only transabdominal (through the abdomen).

Abdominal study

In this study a sensor is placed on the anterior abdominal wall of the patient. Skin is applied a special gel that improves the contact with the sensor. Ultrasound of the kidneys during pregnancy is carried out from a position on the side to be able to see them over the pregnant uterus. Also the position of women in the stomach is not very comfortable and with lumbar kidney can clearly be viewed because of the ribs and muscles.

Training. In the abdominal study, you will need to follow a diet. It is possible to survey to fast for 8 hours, for example, do not eat Breakfast after a night of rest. Also exclude from the menu all that is causing your flatulence. As a rule, beans, peas, yeast, pastries, white bread, sweets, fizzy drinks. It is necessary to reduce the amount of gases in the intestines, which can “smear” picture of the study.
Pregnant women in any case can not be used for bowel cleansing enema or laxatives, they can improve the tone of the uterus.

Renal ultrasound requires filling the bladder. For immediate examination, it will be possible to drink 0.5–1 l of liquid without gas, and the physician can look at the bladder and after emptying to determine the residual urine.

After x-ray tests using barium or other contrast material ultrasound can be done in a few days.


Your kidneys healthy if the description States that they are bean-shaped form; the location is left just above the right; when breathing is shifted by 2-3 cm; have a clear smooth contour, hyperechoic capsule of 1.5 mm thickness, the size of the right and left differ by no more than 2 cm.

What can be written in the conclusion What does it mean
ehueni, echogenic education, micromolecules stones
echo-positive education, inhomogeneous echostructure, the contour is uneven, there is ehonegativnye sites the tumor
hyperechoic, homogeneous formation maybe a lipoma or her types
anechoic mass with homogeneous or homogeneous anechoic content, without internal echo cancellation. Its contours smooth, no internal structures cyst kidney
purulent cavity purulent inflammation in pyelonephritis
the increase in the pelvis signs of blockage of urinary tract

Having on hands the conclusion of ultrasonography definitely need to show it to the doctor who referred you. After all, any value, even at first glance, the negative can be an indicator of your rules

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