Duplex kidney: Not just a drooping lily

Ashlea J. Doery, Eileen C Ang, Michael R. Ditchfield

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Introduction Duplex kidneys are common, mostly asymptomatic and of no clinical significance. However, they can be associated with significant pathology, often with long-term morbidity. There is minimal literature on the review of the duplex kidney, its associated anomalies and complications. The purpose of this paper is to review our experience of imaging the spectrum of abnormalities associated with duplex kidneys in the paediatric population and correlate this with contemporary literature. Method A retrospective review of the radiology database in a tertiary paediatric centre was performed. A word search of the Radiology Information System for 'duplex' of patients under the age of 16 was undertaken and limited to studies performed between 2006 and 2013. Results Two hundred seventy-four patients were identified (age range 0-16, median 3 years, gender 59.9% female) who had 836 studies: ultrasound 598/836 (71.6%), nuclear medicine 180/836 (21.5%), micturating cystourethrogram 52/836 (6.2%), MRI 5/836 (<1%) and CT scan 1/836 (<1%). Patients were categorised as duplex and no complication (151/274 = 55.1%), upper moiety obstruction, lower moiety reflux/scarring, multicystic dysplastic kidney, abnormal ureteric insertion and other pathology. Conclusion Duplex kidneys are common and often not clinically significant. However, this study demonstrates almost 50% of paediatric patients investigated for duplex kidneys had complications requiring treatment. The most common complications were upper moiety obstruction associated with a ureterocele and lower moiety vesicoureteric reflux. Ultrasound was the most common modality for early detection of these complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • bifid
  • complication
  • diagnostic imaging
  • incidence
  • paediatrics
  • ureter

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