Diagnostic Highlights

Test

Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition

Explanation

Kidney sonogram (ultrasound)

Bilateral kidneys are properly located and of normal size with smooth outer contours

Usually a unilateral tumor in one kidney

Serves as alternative to renal dye imaging tests for people with allergies; creates oscilloscopic picture from echoes of high-frequency sound waves that pass over the flank area

Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan; Helical or spiral CT

Bilateral kidneys are properly located and of normal size with smooth outer contours

Usually a unilateral tumor in one kidney

Produces pictures of peritoneal and retroperitoneal cavity, based on differing densities and composition of body tissues; helical or spiral CT is a new rapid CT scan that immediately shows the passage of dye through the kidney and even very small tumors are evident

Other Tests: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), arteriography, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, urinalysis, and intravenous pyelogram (IVP). To determine if metastasis has occurred: bone scan, chest x-ray, positron emission tomography (PET) scan

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