Perirenal space

The perirenal space is the largest of the three divisions of the retroperitoneum and is the most easily identified. It contains the kidneys, renal vessels, proximal collecting systems, adrenal glands and an adequate amount of fat to allow identification on CT scanning. It also contains the perinephric bridging septa of Kunin 5.

The space is surrounded by the perirenal fascia and is in continuity with the opposite perirenal space across the midline. It abuts the bare area of the liver on the right and the subphrenic space on the left; there is mediastinal communication via the various diaphragmatic hiatus.

In disease, the space is usually closed inferiorly, preventing pelvic spread.

Related pathology

Lesions that may involve the perirenal space include 4:

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
Share article

Article information

rID: 6057
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Perinephric space

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: retroperitoneum (axial) Images
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: retroperitoneum (posterior dissection)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 3: retroperitoneal spaces
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 4: retroperitoneum
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.