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What does an extrarenal pelvis signify?

Q: I am a 33-year-old male. My ultrasound report showed extrarenal pelvis in right kidney with mild dilation of the pelvis. What does it signify?

A:Extrarenal pelvis is a variant of normal renal pelvis, a chamber where all urine forming ducts meet before transmitting the formed urine via a long tube, ureter, to the urinary bladder. Normally, the renal pelvis is surrounded by kidney substance and fat, and hardly has any capacity. In some cases, the urine forming ducts of the kidney are long, and the renal pelvis lies partly outside the kidney. Such pelvis is called an extrarenal pelvis. Such a pelvis can have some holding capacity and hence can be noticed on ultrasound, as in your case. It should, however, be remembered that an early obstruction may look exactly like extrarenal pelvis, and needs further tests to confirm or exclude the same. Such suspicion may be entertained if someone is having associated flank pain, and such pelvis becomes more prominent on a repeat scan after a couple of weeks.

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