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  • This study was partially supported by the Research Institute for Veterinary Science at Seoul National University.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Junghee Yoon, at the above address. E-mail:


Pyonephrosis refers an infected hydronephrotic kidney which arise from pyelonephritis followed by exudate accumulation in a dilated renal pelvis or hydronephrosis followed by ascending infection. Pyonephrosis may cause serious systemic complications, making prompt and reliable diagnosis critical. Clinical and ultrasonographic findings are used for the diagnosis of pyonephrosis in humans, but these findings have not been investigated in dogs. We reviewed ultrasonographic features in pyonephrosis in 18 dogs. Ten dogs with hydronephrosis were also evaluated to compare with the pyonephrosis patients. In most dogs with pyonephrosis, hyperechoic contents completely filled the dilated renal pelvis (n=8) or a fluid-debris level was observed (n=8). Hyperechoic contents were dispersed in renal pelvis in only two of the 18 dogs. Hyperechoic, edematous mesentery, and peritoneal and retroperitoneal effusion, which represented peritoneal and retroperitoneal inflammation, were observed in the perinephric region in 11 dogs. Compared with pyonephrosis, and as expected, hydronephrosis was characterized by anechoic contents within the urine-filled collecting system and there were no definitive findings to suspect peritonitis. Thus, there is a distinct difference in the sonographic appearance of pyonephrosis vs. hydronephrosis in dogs.