horseshoe kidneys

Last reviewed 01/2018

Horseshoe kidneys is a congenital condition of the kidneys which produces a characteristic IVP picture where the upper poles are further from the midline than the lower poles.


  • fusion of developing kidneys at their lower poles
  • prevention of normal embryological ascent by the inferior mesenteric artery
  • this results in isthmus of the kidney lying across the aorta at the level of the 3rd or 4th lumbar vertebrae

This congenital abnormality may result in hydronephrosis due to PUJ obstruction.

Pyeloplasty is the treatment for PUJ obstruction.

Sometimes a horseshoe kidney may cause problems during pregnancy.