Pregnancy-related renal changes include increases in kidney size, renal blood flow, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). By the second trimester, the GFR may be as much as 50 percent higher than it was preconception. Consequently, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels decrease. Dilation of ureteral and renal calyces or pelves due to ureteral compression is also frequently seen on imaging studies. These changes are often less pronounced on the left side, since the sigmoid colon cushions the left ureter from the pressure of the enlarging uterus.
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