Published online Jun 28, 2019. doi: 10.5527/wjn.v8.i3.44
Peer-review started: January 10, 2019
First decision: January 26, 2019
Revised: February 22, 2019
Accepted: March 12, 2019
Article in press: March 12, 2019
Published online: June 28, 2019
The application of bedside ultrasonography in routine clinical practice has dramatically evolved over the last few decades and will likely continue to grow as technological advances lead to enhanced portability and affordability of the equipment. Despite mounting interest, most nephrology fellowship training programs do not offer formal training in renal ultrasonography and there is inertia among practicing nephrologists to adopt this skill as a practice-changing advancement. Lack of familiarity with the topic is considered a key reason for this inertia. Understanding of basic ultrasound physics, instrumentation, principles of optimal image acquisition and interpretation is critical for enhanced efficiency and patient safety while using this tool. Herein, we provide a brief overview of the basic principles of diagnostic renal ultrasonography as well as introduction to common sonographic pathologies encountered in day-to-day nephrology practice with illustrative images.
Core tip: Point-of-care renal ultrasonography has emerged as a valuable bedside diagnostic tool for non-radiology physicians. It reduces fragmentation of care and quickly provides answers to simple clinical questions thereby enhancing patient care and satisfaction. In addition, using bedside ultrasound as the first line investigation may eliminate unnecessary radiation and contrast exposure. This pictorial review includes a simplified version of the basics of ultrasound instrumentation and image interpretation.