Spontaneous Renal Rupture during Pregnancy: A Contemporary Literature Review and Guide to Management

Raquel T. Cardenas, Tucker E. Doiron, Abigail M. Ramseyer, Jason A. Pates, William D. Po, Everett F. Magann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Importance Spontaneous renal rupture is a rare pregnancy complication, which requires a high index of suspicion for a timely diagnosis to prevent a poor maternal or fetal outcome. Objective This review highlights risk factors, pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnosis, management, and complications of spontaneous renal rupture in pregnancy. Evidence Acquisition A literature search was carried out by research librarians using the PubMed and Web of Science search engines at 2 universities. Fifty cases of spontaneous renal rupture in pregnancy were identified and are the basis of this review. Results The first case of spontaneous renal rupture in pregnancy was reported in 1947. Rupture occurs more commonly on the right side and during the third trimester. Pain was a reported symptom in every case reviewed. Treatment usually consists of stent or nephrostomy tube placement. Conservative management has been reported. Conclusions When diagnosed early and managed appropriately, maternal and fetal outcomes are favorable. Preterm delivery is the most common complication. Relevance Our aim is to increase the awareness of spontaneous renal rupture in pregnancy and its associated complications in order to improve an accurate diagnosis and maternal and fetal outcomes. Target Audience Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians Learning Objectives After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to identify the risk factors of spontaneous renal rupture in pregnancy; outline the presenting signs and symptoms of renal system rupture during pregnancy; explain the preferred diagnostic tools and imaging modalities for diagnosing renal system rupture in pregnancy, including the risks and benefits to the fetus; and describe the management and potential complications of pregnant patients presenting with renal system rupture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-565
Number of pages16
JournalObstetrical and Gynecological Survey
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


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