Helping Children with Common Kidney Disorders

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

Our fellowship-trained pediatric nephrologists frequently evaluate and manage the following conditions:

  • Blood in the urine or hematuria
  • Protein in the urine (proteinuria)
  • Body swelling or edema
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bedwetting and daytime bladder control issues
  • Kidney stones
  • High blood pressure or hypertension

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.

At the Division of Pediatric Nephrology, our physicians 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 blood or urine tests.
  • Acute or chronic dialysis: If kidney problems become very severe, children may require short- or long-term dialysis to support the body’s functions when the kidneys are not working. Our Dialysis Center provides 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.
  • Kidney transplantation: 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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