Journal of Ultrasound

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 25–34 | Cite as

Sonographic evaluation of kidney echogenicity and morphology among HIV sero-positive adults at Lagos University Teaching Hospital

  • Cletus Uche EzeEmail author
  • Charles Ugwoke Eze
  • Adekunle Adeyomoye
Original Article



To evaluate the role of kidney echogenicity and morphology in the diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus-associated nephropathy (HIVAN).

Subjects and methods

In the cross-sectional study, a sample of 340 anti-retroviral therapy (ART)-naïve AIDS patients underwent laboratory CD4+ count, serum creatinine determination and sonographic renal echogenicity grading and size measurement. Rounded kidneys were described as bulbous while bean-shaped kidneys were described as reniform; echogenicity was categorized into grades 0, 1, 2 and 3. Kidney length, width, thickness and volume were measured in HIVAN and control groups.


Mean age of the population was 42.7 ± 9.4 years; 87.4% had HIVAN. Mean CD4+ count, serum creatinine and GFR for HIVAN patients were 153.1 ± 103.2 cells/mm3, 218.4 ± 147.4 mmol/L and 50.1 ± 23.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 for males and 121.9 ± 91.0 cells/mm3, and 222.0 ± 150.4 mmol/L and 39.3 ± 20.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 for females, respectively; control subjects and non-HIVAN patients had grade 0 renal echogenicity; 56.9% of HIVAN patients had echogenicity grade 3; 5.3% had kidney length < 10 cm; 73.9% had bulbous kidneys; the kidney was significantly wider and thicker in HIVAN (p < 0.05).


Sonographic evaluation of renal echogenicity and morphology can reliably predict HIVAN diagnosis. Apathy to screening and late presentation were high while HIV/AIDS remains an important public health problem in the city of Lagos. Unilateral reduction in kidney size could be a major sequela of AIDS while sonographic measurement of absolute kidney length appears inadequate in the evaluation of AIDS patients with nephropathy.


AIDS/HIVAN Nephropathy Echogenicity Morphology Sonography 



valutare il ruolo dell’ecogenicità e della morfologia renale nella nefropatia associata a virus dell’immunodeficienza umana (HIVAN).

Pazienti e metodi

Questo studio cross-sectional, ha incluso 340 pazienti affetti da AIDS mai trattati con terapia anti-retrovirale (ART). In tutti i pazienti sono state effettuate indagini di laboratorio che comprendevano il conteggio dei linfociti CD4+ e la determinazione della creatinina sierica, e la valutazione ecografica delle dimensioni e dell’ecogenicità dei reni. I reni arrotondati sono stati descritti come bozzuti mentre i reni a forma di fagiolo come reniformi; l’ecogenicità è stata classificata in gradi 0, 1, 2 e 3. La lunghezza del rene, la larghezza, lo spessore e il volume sono stati misurati in gruppi di controllo e nei soggetti con HIVAN.


L’età media della popolazione era 42.7 ± 9.4 anni; l’87,4% aveva HIVAN. La conta media dei CD4+, la creatinina sierica e la GFR dei pazienti con HIVAN erano rispettivamente 153.1 ± 103.2 cellule mm3, 218.4 ± 47.4 mmol/L e 50.1 ± 23.6 ml/min/1.73 m2 per i maschi e 121.9 ± 91.0 cellule/mm3 e 222.0 ± 150.4 mmol/L e 39.3 ± 20.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 per le femmine. I soggetti di controllo e i pazienti senza HIVAN avevano ecogenicità renale di grado 0, mentre i il 56.9% dei pazienti con HIVAN aveva una ecogenicità di grado 3. Il 5.3% aveva una lunghezza dei reni < 10 cm, il 73.9% aveva reni bozzuti e nel complesso i reni erano significativamente più larghi e di maggior spessore nei pazienti con HIVAN (p < 0.05).


la valutazione ecografica dell’ecogenicità e della morfologia renale possono indicare in modo affidabile la diagnosi di HIVAN, essere utilizzati per lo screening ed evitare la presentazione tardiva, laddove HIV e AIDS restano un importante problema di salute pubblica. La riduzione unilaterale delle dimensioni del rene potrebbe essere un conseguenza principale di AIDS, mentre la misurazione ecografica della lunghezza assoluta dei reni appare non adeguata per identificare i pazienti affetti da AIDS con nefropatia.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None to declare.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Human and animal studies

The study was conducted in accordance with all institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation Biology, Radiotherapy, Radiodiagnosis and Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of MedicineUniversity of LagosLagosNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Medical Radiography and Radiological Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of MedicineUniversity of Nigeria, Enugu CampusEnuguNigeria

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