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Horseshoe-shaped kidney in a child: causes, symptoms and treatment

  • Horseshoe-shaped kidney in a child: causes, symptoms and treatment

    Horseshoe kidney in children occurs in rare cases, approximately one in 500. Pathology develops during the period of intrauterine development at the time of moving the organ to its desired location( on both sides of the spine, just above the waist).This anomaly is formed as a result of the fusion of the two organs by their lower bases. Connecting the kidneys, acquire the form of a horseshoe, and therefore the name "horseshoe-shaped kidney" has occurred.

    About a third of children with this disease have another anomaly or the following complications, such as:

    1. Gastrointestinal, cardiovascular manifestations( abnormalities of the skeletal apparatus or defects of the anorectal system);
    2. Hydrocephalus or spina bifida;
    3. Cancer, or polycystic kidney disease;
    4. Wilms tumor - occurs during fetal development( in the embryo);
    5. Hydronephrosis is an expansion of the bowel-cup system, usually a consequence of obstruction of the urinary tract;
    6. Kidney stones - are formed with the help of proteins and crystals, which can cause urinary tract obstruction.

    Manifestations of anomalies can be either independent or combined with other disorders.

    Symptoms of



    In many children, the symptoms of a horseshoe-shaped kidney are not observed. Some have complications associated with the genitourinary, nervous or cardiovascular system, and may also have other pathologies. Depending on the damage to the organs, the symptoms vary. To confirm the diagnosis, as well as determine the tactics of treating children, it is always necessary to consult a doctor.

    Taking the necessary measures to diagnose the disease

    In cases when the child is diagnosed with this anomaly, but there are no manifestations, he does not need treatment. If he does not have the complications mentioned above, the doctor may prescribe the following diagnostic examinations:

    • Urinalysis( including seeding);
    • Blood test( to determine kidney function);
    • Intravenous pyelography is a diagnostic method using X-rays, used for a visual picture of the structure of the urinary tract, as well as determining the outflow of urine and the presence of disorders( detection of obstruction);
    • Cystourethrography is a method by which the condition of the genito-urinary tract is studied. X-ray shows the presence of a reverse outflow of urine into the kidneys and ureters;
    • Ultrasound is a diagnostic method used to evaluate organ functions and determine blood flow through the vessels.

    Treatment of

    Horseshoe kidney in a child, does not require treatment, unless there are additional complications and manifestations. But in the case of complications, the children need maintenance therapy, which means the treatment of existing symptoms, and the cure of the disease does not come.

    Specific treatment of the anomaly will be determined by the attending physician, based on:

    • History of the disease;
    • General state of health;
    • Age;
    • Severity of the disease;
    • Child's perceptions of procedures, drugs or therapy;
    • Parents' opinion and preferences;
    • Presence of manifestation.

    Children diagnosed with a horseshoe-shaped kidney should be constantly observed by a nephrologist or urologist.

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