Helping Children with Common Kidney Disorders

The Division of Pediatric Nephrology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, in conjunction with the Division of Pediatric Urology, offers comprehensive services that focus on the evaluation and treatment of the most common kidney problems in children.


Call to Schedule an Appointment Today

For an appointment with one of our pediatric kidney specialists, call 216-844-5437.

Common Childhood Kidney Problems

  • Alport syndrome
  • Chronic kidney diseases
  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Kidney failure
  • Kidney stones
  • Nephrotic syndrome (including body swelling and/or edema)
  • Proteinuria (protein in urine)
  • Urinary tract infection

Pediatric Kidney Disorder Symptoms

Children with kidney disease do not usually seek medical attention until they develop a bothersome symptom such as visible blood in the urine or body swelling. Occasionally, the symptoms of kidney disease are less obvious. For example, children whose kidneys do not function properly have difficulty concentrating in school. Nosebleeds or recurring headaches may be an indication of high blood pressure (hypertension). In addition, some kidney problems may occur without any symptoms.

Diagnosing Kidney Disorders in Children

At UH Rainbow, our pediatric kidney specialists have the experience and expertise necessary to deliver an accurate diagnosis and ensure the best possible outcome for patients. We are equipped to evaluate and manage the full spectrum of kidney disease – from acute kidney injuries caused by infection, medication or poisoning to chronic kidney problems that are present at birth or become evident during childhood.

Sometimes, specialized studies or procedures are needed to diagnose and treat kidney diseases in children. Our division offers a number of these services, including:

  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM): This technique measures blood pressure during a 24-hour period when the child is home or in school. The results can confirm whether he or she has high blood pressure when the initial diagnosis was unclear.
  • Kidney biopsy: This procedure, performed in conjunction with radiologists and pediatric sedation/anesthesia specialists, allows our pediatric nephrologists to determine definitive diagnoses and formulate treatment plans. Although a kidney biopsy may not be needed to establish a diagnosis, it can provide key diagnostic evidence that is not available from standard
  • Urine microscopy: In this test, our pediatric kidney experts look at urine under a microscope in real time. This allows kidney doctors to study urine while you're in the office, which can help guide treatment and diagnosis. This method cuts down on cost and evaluation time, and helps provide a more accurate diagnosis.
  • 24-hour urine collection: In this diagnostic test, the doctor will ask you to collect your child's urine for 24 hours. This test can be used to evaluate a child who has a kidney stone. This test looks at the amount of urine your child produces, the amount of certain substances present in the urine, and urinary pH level. In addition to other tests, a 24-hour urine collection can help determine the cause of the stones and treatments that might help prevent future kidney stones, such as dietary recommendations.

Pediatric Dialysis Services

If kidney problems become severe, children may require short- or long-term dialysis to support the body’s functions when the kidneys are not working. Our dialysis services provide the full spectrum of dialysis support for infants and children, including acute and chronic hemodialysis, acute and chronic peritoneal dialysis, and continuous renal replacement therapy.

Pediatric Kidney Transplant

Our pediatric nephrologists work closely with the organ transplantation surgeons and other members of University Hospitals Transplant Institute to provide comprehensive care for children and families seeking kidney transplantation.

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