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Cuddling Kidneys
15 June 2014

Cuddling Kidneys

To some people horseshoes are lucky. Not so to those with fused or horseshoe kidneys. Aptly named, they’re not as rare as you might think; in fact they‘re the most common renal [kidney] anomaly in humans, affecting 1 in 500 of us. And for these unlucky people, the most common type of complication that arises is urinary tract infections and renal stones, which can be painful and cause serious health problems. The defect is caused during development; the normal rotation of the kidneys doesn’t fully complete, leaving the kidneys stuck together and facing a different way. Here doctors have used a multidetector CT scanner to take a closer look at the urinary tract and diagnose the malformation. Multiple renal stones can be seen – as white masses – within the patient’s fused kidneys.

Written by Yalda Javadi

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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