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Renal shear wave elastography for the assessment of nephron hypertrophy: a cross-sectional study in chronic kidney disease



To investigate the association of renal elasticity to microscopic findings of nephron hypertrophy and nephrosclerosis.


Patients who underwent renal biopsy were enrolled. Renal elasticity was measured by acoustic radiation force impulse, and nephron size (glomerular volume, non-sclerotic glomerular density, and mean profile tubular area) and nephrosclerosis (globally sclerotic glomeruli and interstitial fibrosis) were estimated. Nephron hypertrophy was indicated by larger glomerular volume, larger tubular area, and lower non-sclerotic glomerular density. Nephrosclerosis was indicated by a higher percentage of globally sclerotic glomeruli and higher severity of fibrosis.


Renal elasticity was negatively correlated with glomerular volume (r = − 0.480, P = 0.024) and mean tubular area (r = − 0.469, P = 0.028), but it was not correlated with non-sclerotic glomerular density (r = 0.205, P = 0.359), percentage of globally sclerotic glomeruli (r = 0.057, P = 0.800), and severity of fibrosis (r = 0.014, P = 0.950). In a multiple linear regression analysis, glomerular volume and mean tubular area were independently associated with renal elasticity (std β = − 0.454, P = 0.015 and std β = − 0.577, P = 0.007, respectively).


Renal elasticity was correlated with microstructural findings of nephron hypertrophy. Measuring renal elasticity could help in detecting kidney disease.

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Correspondence to Tomoaki Takata.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Iyama, T., Takata, T., Koda, M. et al. Renal shear wave elastography for the assessment of nephron hypertrophy: a cross-sectional study in chronic kidney disease. J Med Ultrasonics 45, 571–576 (2018).

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