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Abstract: FR-PO919

Ultrasonographic Assessment of Normal Kidney Size in Malawi

Session Information

Category: CKD (Non-Dialysis)

  • 2201 CKD (Non-Dialysis): Epidemiology‚ Risk Factors‚ and Prevention


  • Carey, Laura, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Kaimba, Sylvester, Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust, Blantyre, Malawi
  • Chetcuti, Karen, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi
  • Joekes, Elizabeth, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Kreuels, Benno, Bernhard-Nocht-Institut fur Tropenmedizin, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • Henrion, Marc Y.r., Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Rylance, Jamie, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Sonographic assessment of kidney size is needed to make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. However, there is a paucity of normative data from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We determined estimates of kidney size based on age, sex, and HIV status, among apparently healthy outpatient attendees of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital radiology department, Blantyre, Malawi.


We performed a cross-sectional study of 320 adults attending the radiology department between October 2021 and January 2022. The sample was stratified by age, sex, and HIV status. Bilateral renal ultrasound was performed using a Mindray DP-50 machine and a 5MHz convex probe. Participants with kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, BMI >35, heavy alcohol intake, smoking and ultrasonographic abnormalities were excluded. Predictive linear modelling was used to construct reference ranges for kidney size.


There were 162/320 (51%) male participants. The median age was 47 (IQR 34-59), 138/320 (43%) were living with HIV, 134/138 (97%) were receiving antiretroviral therapy. The mean (± SD) size of the right kidney was 9.61 cm (0.93) in males and 9.38 cm (0.98) in females, and 9.76 cm (0.90) and 9.54 cm (0.97) for the left kidney in males and females respectively.


For the first time in Malawi, we provide estimates of normal kidney size using ultrasound, and a population specific reference for assessment of kidney disease.

Predicted ranges (blue) and 95% confidence intervals (orange) of kidney size dependent on a.) sex b.) HIV status


  • Government Support – Non-U.S.