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Renal Dysplasia

Under normal circumstances, each kidney has approximately 1 million filters or glomeruli. These filters eliminate excess water, salts, and other waste. However, occasionally during development the kidneys will not form properly and infants will be born with one or more kidneys with much less than 1 million filters. These kidneys are said to have Renal Dysplasia.

Sometimes renal dysplasia can be associated with other urinary tract abnormalities, such as posterior urethral valves or severe vesicoureteral reflux. Sometimes renal dysplasia effects just one kidney though oftentimes both. When renal dysplasia is severe and bilateral children will have chronic kidney disease.


Renal dysplasia is usually diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound, though sometimes after a urinary tract infection, or sometimes if a child is not growing and gaining weight as expected. Unlike what most people might expect, children with renal dysplasia usually make a LOT of urine and therefore drink a lot of water. They may be picky eaters. There are usually few other symptoms unless associated chronic kidney disease is advanced.


There is no treatment for renal dysplasia itself, but monitoring is important so that complications of reduced renal function can be treated and avoided.