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Checklist for interpreting kidney ultrasound

In our experience, checklists help novice users to systematically interpret the sonographic findings and reduce errors. So, I made SECONDS checklist for interpretation of nephrologist-performed renal ultrasound. Simply, it prompts the learners to look for the following things:

S – Size (renal length and cortical thickness)

E – cortical Echogenicity

C – Collecting system (hydronephrosis)

O – Outline (most masses grow outwards and disrupt the outline)

N – Notable lesions such as cysts and stones

D – Doppler (differentiate hydronephrosis and vascular structure, assess flow)

S – Surroundings (ascites, perinephric collections)

Below illustration provides a pictographic summary of SECONDS checklist.

Some representative sonographic images:

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