Journal List > Chonnam Med J > v.50(1) > 1074912

Chonnam Med J. 2014 Apr;50(1):21-22. English.
Published online April 22, 2014.
© Chonnam Medical Journal, 2014
Medullary Sponge Kidney on Retrograde Pyelography
Tsung-Yi Huang,1 Jih-Pin Lin,2 and Shu-Pin Huang1,3
1Department of Urology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
2School of Post-baccalaureate Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
3Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Corresponding Author: Shu-Pin Huang. Department of Urology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 100 Tz-You 1st Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. TEL: +886-7-312-1101, FAX: +886-7-3211033, Email:
Received September 10, 2013; Accepted September 17, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A woman aged 31 had recurrent urinary tract infection with bloody urine. A series image of medullary sponge kidney presented by intravenous urography (IVU) was detected dynamically by retrograde pyelography (RP). Other than ultrasonography and IVU, RP is also a reliable method to detect medullary sponge kidney.

Keywords: Medullary sponge kidney; Urography; Urinary tract infections


A 31-year-old woman suffered from frequent urinary tract infection and intermittent gross hematuria. Ultrasound disclosed unilateral hydronephrosis and intravenous urography (IVU) showed delayed visualization of right kidney. Therefore, retrograde pyelography (RP) was performed. We found that dynamic imaging exhibited "firework" appearances and static imaging showed "bouquet of flower" appearance (Fig. 1).

FIG. 1
Retrograde pyelography (RP).
Click for larger image


These images are typical characteristic of medullary sponge kidney (MSK) on IVU. Firework appearance is a description given to the appearances of medullary sponge kidney on consecutively dynamic retrograde pyelography (RP) images. From a fireball to a glamour firework of explosion of the series of pictures is what we want to define as a trait of MSK on RP. The static RP images also showed bouquet of flowers appearance similar to those from a traditional IVU. Most MSK patients are asymptomatic and will not be diagnosed until they are complicated by renal colic, urinary tract infections, or hematuria. They are liable to have kidney stone formation due to hypercalciuria, urine stasis in the dilated collecting tubules and impaired distal tubular acidification. Treatment, if any, depends on the underlying conditions such as recurrent stone formation and urinary tract infection.1 Ultrasound, IVU, CT urogram and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might be useful to detect MSK.2 RP provides an extraordinary efficient tool to diagnose MSK or other etiologies of obstructive uropathy.


None declared.

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