What is Horseshoe Kidney?

Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Did you know? About 1 in 500 children are affected by horseshoe kidney

1 out of 3 children with horseshoe kidney will have problems with the heart, nervous system, or genitourinary system.

01 | Introduction

Horseshoe kidney, also known as renal fusion, is when the two kidneys join together. The condition occurs during fetal development. Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of horseshoe kidney.

02 | Cause

The cause of horseshoe kidney is unknown. It may be attributed to a problem with chromosomes. Certain genetic disorders can increase the occurrence of horseshoe kidney, which includes Turner Syndrome and Trisomy 18.

03 | Symptoms

Some children may not exhibit any symptoms, but about one-third of patients may experience serious health issues due to horseshoe kidney. Common symptoms include:

  • UTIs
  • Fever
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sharp pain in back or side
  • Changes in urinary frequency

04 | Diagnosis

It is uncommon for doctors to diagnose horseshoe kidney before birth. The child’s symptoms will be monitored and further tests will be administered when necessary. Some tests include kidney ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram or urine and blood tests.

05 | Treatment & Complications

There is no known cure for horseshoe kidney. For children who experience no symptoms, treatment may not be necessary. However, for children who experience severe symptoms, treatment varies primarily on any complications that arise. Some complications include:

  • Wilms tumor
  • Renal cancer
  • Skeletal problems
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Cardiovascular or gastrointestinal issues

 To treat horseshoe kidney, your child may need to visit a specialist, such as a urologist or a nephrologist.

Learn More

For more information on horseshoe kidney and other kidney diseases, please visit www.asn-online.org  

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