Neonatal transient renal failure with renal medullary hyperechogenicity: Clinical and laboratory features

Imad R. Makhoul, Michalle Soudack, Tatiana Smolkin, Polo Sujov, Monica Epelman, Israel Eisenstein, Daniela Magen, Israel Zelikovic

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20 Scopus citations


Sonographic findings of renal medullary hyperechogenicity have been observed in the neonate in association with severe perinatal renal injury, kidney malformations or nephrocalcinosis, and, rarely, in newborn infants with transient renal failure. The aim of the study was to describe the entity of neonatal transient renal failure with renal medullary hyperechogenicity (NTRFMH). We studied nine term neonates, born between August 1999 and February 2004 in our institution (0.1% of the live born infants), who developed transient renal dysfunction after birth, and in whom renal sonograms showed bilateral medullary hyperechogenicity. Seven of the infants (78%) had anuria until 30-45 hours of age, and two (22%) had oliguria. Peak serum creatinine levels ranged between 0.61 and 1.62 mg/dL (mean: 1.090±0.27 mg/dL) at 2-3 days of life. Additional findings included proteinuria in nine infants (100%), uric acid crystalluria in seven (78%), hyperuricemia in four (44%), and hypertension in one (11%). Hyperuricosuria was demonstrated in one out of the seven patients in whom this parameter was determined. Urinary excretion rates of calcium, phosphorus and oxalic acid were normal, as were urinary levels of amino acids and organic acids. Full clinical recovery accompanied by normalization of all laboratory parameters was observed in all infants by 4-6 days of life. Subsequent follow-up showed normal renal function, no urinary abnormalities, and normal renal sonograms in all infants. Our summary of the nine infants with NTRFMH reported on here and a review of 19 cases of this condition reported in the literature reveal a not-so-rare entity of unclear etiology, but excellent prognosis. Physicians caring for neonates should be aware of this benign and transient condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-909
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Kidney
  • Medullary hyperechogenicity
  • Newborn infant
  • Renal failure
  • Ultrasound


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