Children’s Kidney Atrophy Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment 2024

Children's Kidney Atrophy

 Children’s Kidney Atrophy Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Kidney plays an important role in the human body as they act as a filtration system for the body, help control water levels and eliminate waste by urinating.

They also help regulate blood pressure and produce red blood pellets, calcium levels and minerals.

But sometimes the kidneys do not grow properly causing dysfunction in the functioning of the kidney and therefore negatively affects the human body and these problems are often genetic.

Kidney disease is not only limited to adults but can also affect children, but it is not common in children as researchers do not know exactly how many children have kidney disease because many children have few or no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

How the kidneys work in the human body

Through microscopic units called nephrons, the kidneys remove waste products and excess water from the food a person eats, and chemicals needed by the body (such as sodium, phosphorus, potassium) return to the bloodstream.

Excess water combines with other waste products to turn into urine, which flows through thin tubes called ureters into the bladder, where it remains until it exits the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder).

The kidneys also produce three important hormones:

  • Erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to form red blood cells
  • Renin, which helps regulate blood pressure
  • Vitamin D, which helps to control the calcium balance in the body and maintain bone health.

What is kidney atrophy?

Normal kidneys are the size of a fist but sometimes a reduction in kidney size may occur to abnormal size with abnormal function which is known as kidney atrophy.

The kidneys are located on each side of the lower spine, directly under the rib cage but the left kidney is usually slightly larger than the right one or both kidneys can atrophy, but it may be more likely that atrophy occurs in the left kidney, impeding the normal function of its work.

What causes kidney disease in children?

  • There are many reasons that lead to kidney problems in children, including:
  • Genetic diseases
  • Nephrotic syndrome (kidney disorder)
  • Systemic diseases
  • Obstruction or reflux of urine
  • Birth defects

What causes lead to kidney atrophy

Kidney atrophy may be due to:

Kidney artery blockage (known as kidney artery narrowing) where the main arteries prevent blood flow to the kidneys, which can be due to atherosclerosis with fatty deposits or blood clots.

Blockage of the urinary tract – prevents the natural flow of urine leading to pressure on the kidneys and damage the naphrons

Kidney stones where untreated kidney stones can cause kidney blockages

Long-term kidney infections such as pelvic and kidney inflammation, polycystic kidney disease, and other chronic kidney diseases that can harm nephronates

What are the symptoms of kidney atrophy?

Symptoms of kidney atrophy include:

  • Urinate frequently with pain
  • Dark Skin
  • Anorexia
  • Muscular convulsions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • High Creatine Concentration
  • Malnutrition
  • Muscle shrinkage
  • Itchy skin
  • Abdominal Pain

Children's Kidney Atrophy

Causes of kidney atrophy

Kidney damage can start suddenly, for example when the kidney is seriously injured or poisoned.

The amyotrophic kidney may also be due to or linked to another medical condition, such as:

  • Anti-phosphorous fat syndrome
  • Tuberculosis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Narrowing arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Narrowing of kidney arteries (narrowing of kidney arteries manufactured for arteries)
  • Obstruction of the urinary tract
  • Sickle cell anemia disease
  • Incidence of cancer
  • Acute kidney infections
  • Foot-and-mouth disease inflammation and reflux nephropathy

How is kidney atrophy diagnosed?

Some tests are carried out to ensure that there is a renal dysfunction, as kidney atrophy tests include imaging tests such as ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT or CAT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as a timely diagnosis of this disorder can prevent further kidney deterioration.

In general, doctors do blood tests such as glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to check for kidney function. The doctor may also conduct a urine test for albumin, a protein that can appear in the urine when the kidney is damaged.

Treatment of kidney atrophy

Treatment of kidney atrophy depends on the reasons that led to the small size of the kidneys in the first place so doctors are keen to know the underlying cause of kidney atrophy, thereby preventing further damage.

Knowing the exact cause of kidney atrophy will help determine the treatment option available. For example, atrophy from chronic urinary tract infections can be curbed by taking antibiotics.

Also, controlling blood pressure and pathological conditions such as diabetes will maintain other kidney function.

Kidney atrophy can be single (single kidney) or binary (both kidneys), the specialist doctor will discover how much remains of kidney function through a blood and urine examination if the kidneys do not work at all, there is usually no need to remove the kidneys unless there is a persistent problem such as repeated infection.

If the kidneys are still working, there may be medical treatment to maintain the remaining kidney function. If both kidneys fail, the treatment is dialysis or kidney transplant.

Even with a malignant kidney, the kidneys may still work well enough to accomplish the task. But if the kidneys work less than 10 to 15 percent, it means having kidney failure, and therefore needing treatment.

Amyotrophic nephrology

Nephrectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the kidney is removed as there are two types of nephrectomy؛:

  • Radical (complete) nephrectomy: during a radical nephrectomy, the urological surgeon removes the entire kidney and often some additional structures, such as part of the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder (ureter), or other nearby structures such as the adrenal gland or lymph nodes.
  • Partial nephrectomy: in a partial nephrectomy, also called kidney sparing surgery (kidney sparing), the surgeon removes diseased tissue from the kidney and leaves healthy tissue in its place.

Nephrectomy is often performed if the patient has an atrophic kidney and also in cases of kidney cancer or to remove a non-cancerous (benign) tumor. In some cases, nephrectomy is performed to deal with a seriously diseased or damaged kidney.

In the case of a donor nephrectomy, the urological surgeon removes a healthy kidney from a donor to transplant it into a person who needs a functioning kidney.


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