Configuring a Better Estimation of Kidney Size in Obese Children and Adolescents

Background: Obesity ignites numerous health and psychosocial problems and is associated with various comorbidities. Body mass index (BMI) is also independently associated with improved risk for numerous kidney disorders. As renal length is considered a vital parameter in the clinical assessment of renal patients, normal renal length has to be defined in accordance to BMI. Objectives: The aim of this study was to define normal kidney length in obese children, comparing ultrasound measurements of the kidney length in obese and non-obese children and adolescents, in order to reduce unnecessary evaluations for nephromegaly. Patients and Methods: Fifty obese children and adolescents and 50 non-obese children and adolescents, aged 1-19 years, were selected from patients of pediatric clinics in two hospitals (Rasoul-e-Akram and Shahid Fahmideh) in Tehran between June 2010 and 2012. After the nephrologist’s and endocrinologist’s approval, the largest longitudinal renal dimension was measured in deep inspiration position by abdomino-pelvic ultrasonography in both groups. Results: It was revealed that both kidneys in obese group were significantly larger than in control group (P = 0.044 and 0.040, respectively). Obesity status, height and age were proven to be significant and independent predictors of length of both kidneys. In both groups length of left kidney was significantly larger than that of right kidney (P < 0.001). Conclusions: A specific standard cut-point limit or norm gram has to be formulated for obese children and adolescents in order to facilitate the diagnosis of kidney diseases, including organomegaly, in these patients.