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Bubble-like readings in kidney ultrasound
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Bubble-like readings in kidney ultrasound

Hi everyone, I'm new here, so please deal with me.

I have a grandpa who lives halfway across the world who recently got a kidney ultrasound. My uncle called my father and my father told me that there were bubble-like objects inside the kidney in the ultrasound. We're all really worried and I would like to know what may cause these kinds of readings. Thanks so much for any help you can give.
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Why was your grandpa advised the ultrasound?

The bubbles seen could be cysts in the kidney.

"These are the main causes of kidney cysts:-

    * Normal - Cysts may be found in normal kidneys (up to 5 cysts per kidney).
    * Medullary sponge kidney - Very small cysts are found in both kidneys, and there can be kidney infections, small kidney stones and kidney pain. Medullary sponge kidney does not usually lead to kidney failure.
    * Medullary cystic kidney (sometimes called Nephronophthisis) - Very small cysts are found in both kidneys, and kidney failure may develop, requiring dialysis treatment.
    * Infantile (or recessive) polycystic kidney disease - There are hundreds of cysts in each kidney, and this condition is found in childhood. Click here for more information.
    * Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease - There there are hundreds of cysts in each kidney: this condition is usually found in adults. Click here for more information."

Cysts are accompanied by symptoms, such as lower back pain, blood in urine, etc.

Whether cysts can eventually end in renal failure depends on the type of disease causing the cysts.

Your grandpa needs a good nephrologist who can prescribe further course of action.

Do keep us posted on your doubts and progress.

I got an ultrasound myself two weeks ago (for the first time). As background, I operated a ultrasound machine myself during four years (actually called Confocal Scanning Acoustic Microscopy) in analysing electronic microchips and other devices (not living tissues). So I have a good idea of the principles and image analysis although the equipment and parameters (frequencies etc.) differs significantly.

I saw myself "bubble-like" features during my abdominal scan.

To be able to tell what they are for sure, one must be in knowledge of some parameters used during the scan, and know very well the biology of the kidneys. In an ultrasound image, the feature we see are the reflection of sound waves at the interface of materials that have a different "acoustic impedance". Some major factors are differences in the two materials "mass density", "hardness", and depending of their nature at the molecular level (crystals, amorphous solids, liquids, gas, etc.)

For instance, in a certain color pallette, a dark feature means that the sound wave returned a "positive reflection" (it hit something that is more dense that the surrounding medium).  In such a case, dark bubbles could represent blood vessels (seen in cross-section) in the fluid that is filling the abdomen cavity, which is normal. light-colored bubbles could represent gas pockets in the fluid that is filling the abdomen cavity (in medics, I don't know if that's common, or normal). in a color palette negative to the above one, well, dark means light and vice-versa.

As you can see, only the doctor will be able to tell the patient for sure. I think typically the technician can also tell but is not allowed to (e.g. he must not be held responsible of false diagnostics or indications). Unless you post the images themselves (that most likely contains the machine setup in the frame), only YOUR doctor (or should I say your grandpa's) can tell.

Just the input of a guy who's also worry about his (left) kidney. A mysterious night/morning pain that goes within a minute as I stand up and walk around. All tests so far (urine, blood, ultrasound, x-ray) failed to show the issue.

I know my comment comes like two years later. I sincerely wish your grandpa is fine!
Have your Grandfather go and see a Urologist (not a Nephrologist), and take the results of his ultrasound with him. The Urologist should be able to read the ultrasound a little more accurately than "bubble-like readings", and if not, will order an MRI to take a better look.

Having a CT will not show enough detail of the renal cavity/mass, so an MRI is preferred for looking at the soft-tissue detail (at least that's what my Urologist told me when they MRI'd me).

Don't go getting your ginch in a knot just yet. See what the Urologist has to say before you start diagnosing & doom-and-glooming.

Post back and let us know what shakes out.
You're kidding me... I just noticed this thread is two years old. Wasted a perfectly good answer on a one-hit-wonder!
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