2020 Edition
| Editors: Maria Rosaria Raspollini, Antonio Lopez-Beltran

Medullary Sponge Kidney

  • Anna Caliò
  • Diego Segala
  • Guido MartignoniEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41894-6_3732


Cystic disease of renal pyramids


It is a nongenetically transmitted likely congenital disease, usually asymptomatic, characterized by the presence of ectasia of papillary collecting ducts in the renal medulla.

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    It is a rare disease, characterized by a prevalence among the general population ranging between 5/10,000 and 5/100,000.

  • Age

    It is commonly detected in adults, although pediatric cases are reported.

  • Sex

    No gender predilection.

  • Site

    Kidneys are bilaterally affected with normal size and intact function.

  • Treatment

    There is no specific treatment for medullary sponge kidney, and the current therapeutic options are aimed to avoid the complications or solve them.

  • Outcome

    The outcome is related to complications.

The main clinical symptom is given by renal lithiasis, which only occasionally has the staghorn morphology. Intravenous urography shows distinctive radial linear streaking in the cystic renal papillae resembling bunch of flowers.


This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Gambaro, G., Danza, F. M., & Fabris, A. (2013). Medullary sponge kidney. Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 22(4), 421–426.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Nunley, J. R., Sica, D. A., & Smith, V. (1990). Medullary sponge kidney and staghorn calculi. Urologia Internationalis, 45, 118–121.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Public Health, Section of PathologyUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PathologyPederzoli HospitalPeschiera del GardaItaly