Kidney ultrasound revealed small hyperechoic foci seen in both kidneys. Meaning? Should I be worried?

Posted on Fri, 7 Jun 2013 in General Health
Question: Hi doctor.

My husband just had a kidney ultrasound and this is what the report says. Renal ultrasound demonstrated small hyperechoic foci seen in both kidneys, probably non-obstructing renal calculi. There is a cyst in the left kidney measuring 17mm. There is no hydronephrosis or other renal mass.

My husband also had his blood work done which showed Normal BUN which was 13( ref range (6-26). His creatinine level was 1.18 ( ref rage 0.50- 1.20). His BUN/CRE ratio was 11.0 ( ref range was 10-20). Doctor said these were all normal. His uric acid level was 7.9 which the doctor said was a little elevated, but not horrible.

My husbands grandfather died from a hereditary kidney disease. We are not sure what the name of the disease was( his mother does not know). All she told us was that he died when he was 58 years old and the autopsy said his kidneys were the size of a 5 year olds. They say he died of ureic poisoning. His grandfathers two brothers each had a kid that had come down with kidney disease as well when they were adults and ended up needing kidney transplants later in life ( one was 60 and the other was in her upper 40's). My husbands mother and her sister however are both healthy(no kidney issues). I made an apt for my husband to see a nephrologist to go over all this. I am just wondering what your opinion on this is. Our regular primary care doc who ordered the kidney ultrasound( we only did the kidney ultrasound after his mother told us about her father and the kidney disease. My husband has NO symptoms at all and feels fine), well our primary care doc did not seem too overly worried about this. I of course am! Does him having a cyst in his kidney mean he likely has kidney disease? Could they tell the difference between a simple kidney cyst verses ones that cause kidney disease on an ultrasound scan?? Should I be concerned or am I over worrying?
Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 5 hours later

I am dr XXXXXXX I will try my level best to help you relieve your anxiety.

Let me answer you question in order of appearance.

1) The cyst in the kidney are not normal, but your husband is having the familial form of long as kidney function test comes to be normal.
Advice I could give you is consult geneticist before planning for kids as it can also be inherited. And it gets worst with every passing generations.

2) Simple cyst are just a fluid filled cavity while the poly cyst means multiple of such cyst and their growth will press on the normal kidney structure leading to obstruction in urine filtration and formation, the intensity of the damage can be accessed by kidney function test, as long as function tests are normal nothing much to worry about.

3) You should not be worrying for now till the kidney function test comes normal , but it need to be monitored as per your physician's advice.

Hope this can relieve you anxiety.

Please feel free to contact me in case of any concern.

Thanks for the question.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Follow up: Dr. Jay Patel 9 hours later
My husband has only 1 cyst in the left kidney. Would this indicate that he has this kidney disease then?
Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 6 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

No, if your husband has only one cyst then its not a major problem, because its only one cyst and in case if it gets little bigger which may compromise the function of kidney but it will be only on the left side and mostly restricted to the area of growth.

FACT: human can live a normal life with “only half of one kidney" working and normal person has 4 times working capacity then required.

In your husband's case there is only one cyst and even if it gets bigger still we have right kidney, as well as the half portion of the left kidney that do not have cyst, so we have about 3 times more kidney function then requires as per above fact.

So nothing to worry at this point in time. More over in case of single cyst it can be removed by operation. So, all in all relax and enjoy life, just keep it monitored for the progress without much of anxiety.

Thanks again.

Hope it helps and in case of any slight concern/doubt feel free to contact me.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Jay Patel

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 567 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

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