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World Kidney Day: What is extrarenal pelvis of the right kidney?

An extrarenal pelvis is a normal variation from the usual anatomy and does not necessarily indicate a state of disease.

The renal pelvis is a chamber where all the urine-forming ducts meet and further routes urine to the urinary bladder. Any portion of the renal pelvis located outside the kidney is considered as the extrarenal pelvis. Dr Jatin Kothari, Consultant Nephrologist at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical at Khar will help us in understanding the complete concept of the extrarenal pelvis in detail. Also read signs that your kidney is in danger.

What is extrarenal pelvis?

Also known as renal pelvis, it protrudes from the bean-shaped indentation in the middle of the kidney. An extrarenal pelvis is a normal variation from the usual anatomy and does not necessarily indicate a state of disease. Usually, renal pelvis does not protrude in such a manner and it appears as if there is a blockage in the renal pelvis that is preventing urine from emptying.

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What are the key reasons for dilation?

The pelvicalyceal system of the kidney could be dilated due to one of the following conditions:

  • Congenital, by birth which is usually physiological
  • Focal infection of or at calyx or extrarenal pelvis of the kidney
  • Stricture, which is narrowing of the neck of the calyx or extrarenal pelvis
  • Stone impacted at the neck of the extrarenal pelvis

While extrarenal pelvis is asymptomatic in most cases, complications such as infection and stone formation can result. Extrarenal pelvic stone may cause obstruction to drainage of urine from the calyx into renal pelvis resulting in accumulation of calyx. Extrarenal pelvis causing dilation might lead to obstruction to excretion of urine.

The extrarenal pelvis can easily be misinterpreted with a blockage. Further, a person should undergo tests in order to determine whether a person has an extrarenal pelvis or blockage. Also read the dos and don ts of living with one kidney.

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