This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Kidney (physical examination characteristics)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

On physical examination, a kidney is characterised by:

  • a palpable upper border; one can feel space between the kidney and the costal margin
  • it moves inferiorly on inspiration
  • it is ballotable
  • the percussion note is usually resonant, because of overlying loops of gas-filled bowel

Recognising an enlarged left kidney from an enlarged spleen, in addition to the above, is aided by:

  • a kidney does not have a notch
  • a kidney never has a friction rub

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page