Intrathoracic kidney

An intrathoracic kidney is a very rare form of ectopic kidney. There has been no reported increased incidence of stones or infections as with other forms of ectopic kidneys. The adrenal glands are usually normal in location.

Clinical presentation

Intrathoracic kidneys are usually asymptomatic and detected incidentally during radiological workup.

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph
  • appears as a well defined lower thoracic opacity

The diagnosis can be easily confirmed by ultrasound. In most cases, the thoracic kidney rests on the diaphragm, so an acoustic window of the liver or spleen can be used to demonstrate it.

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
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Article information

rID: 25951
System: Urogenital
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Thoracic kidney
  • Thoracic kidneys
  • Intrathoracic kidneys

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Cases and figures

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