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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Dr. W. Charles O'Neill, Emory University, Renal Division WMB 338, 1639 Pierce Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322. Phone: 404-727-3922; Fax: 404-727-3425; Email: woneill@emory.edu.

There are no conflicts of interest to disclose.


Research Funding:

Supported by Grants R21 DK064740, RO3 DK067167, and MO1 RR000039 from the National Institutes of Health.

Determinants and Functional Significance of Renal Parenchymal Volume in Adults


Journal Title:

Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology


Volume 6, Number 1


, Pages 70-76

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background and objectives: The significance of renal parenchymal volume and the factors that influence it are poorly understood. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Renal parenchymal volume (RPV) was measured on contrast-enhanced CT scans after exclusion of sinus fat and vessels in 224 healthy subjects evaluated as kidney donors and in a separate cohort of 22 severely obese individuals before and after 6 months of weight loss. GFR was measured by iohexol clearance in 76 of the transplant donors. RPV was correlated with age, GFR, and various anthropometric parameters. Results: In potential transplant donors, RPV correlated with body surface area (BSA; r = 0.68) and was 7% larger in men but did not vary with age or race. Gender and body size were independent determinants of RPV. RPV correlated well with GFR (r = 0.62) and accounted for almost all of the variability in a model of GFR that included age, race, gender, and body surface area. GFR correlated more strongly with RPV than with creatinine-based equations. The same relationship between RPV and BSA was observed in obesity, and RPV decreased with weight loss. Conclusions: In healthy adults younger than 65 years, renal parenchymal volume is governed by body size and gender but not age or race and is strongly correlated with GFR. This indicates that renal parenchymal volume varies to meet metabolic demand and is closely linked to renal function.

Copyright information:

© 2011 by the American Society of Nephrology

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