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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Kidney problems on fetal ultrasound

04/29/2005

Question:

I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and just went in for my routine ultrasound. Everything appeared normal except for an enlarged left kidney with what appeared to have cysts around it, according to the radiologist. I am extremely worried. After searching on the internet, there were a couple of articles that explained that this might be an indicator of chromosomal disorders. I don`t know how accurate that is. Do you have any information on this?

Answer:

These days, since most women are undergoing ultrasounds of their unborn baby, potential problems are being detected quite early. Unfortunately, the exact problem is usually not known until after the child is born when more accurate ultrasounds and other tests may be done. When children have abnormal ultrasounds, the most important issue is whether the other kidney is normal. If so, then there is little concern about overall kidney disease since one kidney is all that is needed for a child to have normal kidney function. A cystic kidney may be a sign that that kidney did not develop properly and is usually an isolated problem, meaning typically no other problems may exist. Though there may be a problem with the chromosomes, most kids with these findings are otherwise normal.

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Response by:

Rama   Jayanthi, MD Rama Jayanthi, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University