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A Closer Look: Division of Pediatric Nephrology


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Pediatric Clinical Update | February 2020

The Division of Pediatric Nephrology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital specializes in children’s kidney disease and hypertension.  Our physicians, nurses and other experts work to diagnose, treat and manage kidney problems. We are driven by the desire to improve quality of life and outcomes for children with acute and chronic kidney disease in collaboration with other Rainbow specialists in cardiologyendocrinologyurology and neonatology.

The Division treats infants, children and adolescents with every type of renal disorder – congenital and acquired, including renal failure, kidney transplant, hypertension.

Specialized therapies and diagnostic services include: 

  • 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Hemodialysis
  • Acute renal replacement therapies
  • Pheresis services
  • Renal biopsy
  • Close collaboration with pediatric cardiology to provide comprehensive care for patients with hypertension
  • In-office urine microscopy

Also available to the Division are:

  • A multidisciplinary team of psychology, nutrition, nursing and social work for kidney transplant recipients as they navigate the transplant experience
  • Interventional radiologists who perform native and transplant kidney biopsies 
  • Pathologists specializing in pediatric kidney pathology
  • Radiologic facilities, including high-resolution and 3-D reconstructive computerized tomographic and nuclear magnetic resonance imagers
  • Pediatric radiologists with extensive experience in renal and urinary tract disease
  • Maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, urology and genetics experts in diagnosing and treating Fetal Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction and other congenital disorders of the kidney and urinary tract
  • The team includes a newly designated pediatric dialysis and kidney transplant director   


UH Rainbow pediatric nephrology services are available throughout Northeast Ohio:

Division Contact: 216-844-1389 | Fax: 216-844-8977
Patient Appointments: 216-844-5437

Pediatric Nephrology Faculty Roster

Christina Nguyen, MD, Chief
Emily Joyce, MD

The Division of Pediatric Nephrology also includes the following services: 

Dialysis Center
216-844-1389 | Fax: 216-844-8977

Pediatric Transplant Center – Kidney and Liver Transplant
216-844-1725 | Fax: 216-844-7764
Director | Meelie DebRoy, MD

A kidney transplant can offer patients the opportunity for a healthy life when he or she faces kidney failure. Our experienced pediatric kidney transplant team performs successful transplants in children using kidneys from deceased and living donors. Our goal is to get your child back to his or her normal routine and activities as quickly as possible.

A Team Approach to Patient Care
Our dedicated pediatric team of transplant specialists includes surgeons, physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers, infectious disease experts, child life specialists, chaplains, pharmacists and psychologists who all work together to provide the highest level of care possible before, during and after the patient’s transplant. This collaborative approach will ensure patient’s physical, emotional, psychological and developmental needs are met during the transplant process. Our excellent graft survival rates reflect our pediatric transplant expertise and commitment to ensuring the patient maintains his or her transplanted kidney for many years.

Transition to Adult Kidney Transplant Care
At some point in the future, our young adult patients will reach a point in which they would be best cared for at an adult medical center by providers who are best trained to care for adults who have had a transplant. This transition typically occurs between the ages of 18 and 21, at a time in which patients may be undergoing several other life transitions as well. These may include graduating high school, moving out of the family home, beginning college, or starting a new job. We want our patients to be well-prepared to manage their healthcare needs in these new environments, as well as to begin working effectively with adult healthcare providers. We also realize that transitioning to a new medical center can be a scary and emotional time for patients and their families. Thus, we have developed a program to ensure that we meet all of the educational and emotional needs of transplant families as they transition to adult healthcare.
Services offered include: 

  • Living-donor and deceased-donor kidney transplantation
  • Pre-emptive transplantation (so that the patient does not need to go on dialysis
  • Access to clinical trials
  • General surgery procedures in children with kidney failure, including dialysis access if needed