• Eduardo D. RuchelliEmail author
  • Dale S. Huff


The histological appearance of the fetal kidney is significantly different from that of the adult kidney, mostly because it continues to develop almost until the end of gestation, when the formation of nephrons (nephrogenesis) comes to an end. A lack of familiarity with these differences may lead to mistakenly considering normal findings as pathologic ones, or to overlooking abnormalities of renal development, such as impaired nephrogenesis with a reduced number of nephrons (as seen in intrauterine growth restriction) or abnormal tubular differentiation (as seen in renal tubular dysgenesis). The aim of this chapter is to review the dramatic changes in renal development in the fetal and neonatal period and highlight the important differences at various gestational ages.


Kidney Fetal histology Nephrogenesis Metanephros 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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