These days renal Doppler sonography has been established as a diagnostic tool of the daily nephrological work-up. Extra- and intrarenal flow signals are obtained for different indications. The intrarenal resistive index is the best examined parameter in the literature. However, the results have to be carefully interpreted, because different hemodynamic factors, such as heart rate, stiffness of the aorta as well as observer-dependent factors may have an impact on the level of the resistive index. The value of this non-invasive technique is discussed in detail for different renal diseases, such as acute and chronic renal failure, renal artery stenosis and for patients after renal transplantation. Being aware of several pitfalls which may lead to false results, nephrologists may use renal Doppler sonography as the first screening method of choice in the diagnostic algorithm.