Pediatric Kidney Conditions

At Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, we treat children — from infants to teenagers — who have a range of kidney problems and kidney failure.

Types of Pediatric Kidney Disease

Several pediatric kidney diseases and medical conditions can affect how a child's kidneys function, to varying degrees. These types of kidney disease can affect children of all ages:

  • Acute kidney disease, which comes on suddenly
  • Chronic kidney disease, which affects kidney function slowly over a long time

Pediatric Kidney Conditions We Treat

Our pediatric kidney specialists care for the full range of acute and chronic pediatric kidney conditions, including:

  • Hypertension: High blood pressure in children can be the cause, or the result, of kidney disease. We provide a comprehensive evaluation to identify the cause of hypertension. A personalized treatment plan can effectively manage this condition and prevent life-threatening complications, such as stroke. We use advanced equipment for 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which allows us to monitor the blood pressure continuously, even while your child sleeps.
  • Nephrotic syndrome (nephrosis): This condition happens when the kidney's blood vessels (called glomeruli) don't work right and allow too much protein to leak into the urine. Nephrotic syndrome can cause edema (swelling) and other problems that can damage the kidneys.
  • Hereditary diseases: Hereditary diseases are conditions that are passed to children through their parents' genes. Hereditary kidney diseases more commonly affect young children and are a common cause of kidney failure in children younger than 5 years old. Our specialists have experience treating a range of hereditary diseases in children, such as polycystic kidney disease, a condition where cysts cause the kidneys to enlarge, preventing them from functioning properly.
  • Infection and inflammation: Sometimes infections can damage the kidneys in different ways. Our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating kidney infections, such as pyelonephritis. We also care for inflammatory conditions such as glomerulonephritis, when the glomeruli become inflamed.
  • Systemic disease: Diseases that affect the entire body are called systemic diseases. Lupus and diabetes are two systemic diseases that can affect how well the kidneys work.
  • Trauma: A traumatic incident such as an accident or injury can affect blood flow to the kidneys due to a drop in blood pressure. This cascade of events can cause acute kidney failure, which requires immediate treatment.
  • Blockages: Blockages such as kidney stones can cause painful symptoms or blood in the urine. If not treated appropriately, these blockages can damage the kidneys.
Some kidney conditions can be managed effectively with medication or other treatment. Other times, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure. Kidney failure is a serious condition that requires dialysis (a blood-filtering treatment) to sustain life. We offer the area's only on-site pediatric dialysis center.

For many children with kidney failure, a kidney transplant offers the best chance at living a fuller, more active life. Read more about pediatric kidney transplant.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment or learn more about our outstanding kidney care team, call 954-265-9344.