|Horseshoe kidneys have an abnormal axis. Draw a line between the uppermost calyx and the lowermost calyx. In normal kidneys this line will be closer to the vertebral column at the upper pole. In horseshoe kidneys, the line will be closer to the vertebral column at the lower pole.
Horseshoe kidneys have a higher incidence of hydronephrosis and renal stones than normal kidneys. Horseshoe kidneys usually have multiple renal arteries. For unknown reasons, horseshoe kidneys have an increased risk of renal cell carcinoma.
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©David A. Hatch, M.D., 1996