Horseshoe kidney when the 2 kidneys join (fuse) together at the bottom to form a U shape like a horseshoe. It is also known as renal fusion. The condition occurs when a baby is growing in the womb, as the baby’s kidneys move into place. Horseshoe kidney can occur alone or with other disorders.
Researchers aren’t sure exactly why horseshoe kidney occurs. It may be caused by a problem with chromosomes. Horseshoe kidney can occur along with some genetic disorders, such as Turner syndrome and Edward syndrome.
The condition happens more often in boys than girls.
In many cases a child has no symptoms. Some children may have nausea or pain in the belly. A child may also have kidney stones. This is a condition in which minerals and proteins form stones in the kidney. They may then block the urinary tract.
Some children may have urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs can cause symptoms such as:
The symptoms of horseshoe kidney can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your family’s health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have tests, such as:
The condition can’t be changed or cured. But a child with no symptoms may not need any treatment. If your child has symptoms or related problems, those will be treated. Your child may be referred to an expert such as:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Talk with your child’s healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
About 1 out of 3 of children with horseshoe kidney will have a problem with the heart and blood vessels, nervous system, or genitourinary system. These problems may include:
Horseshoe kidney can also occur along with other problems with the heart and blood vessels, digestive system, or bones.
A child with horseshoe kidney is more at risk for kidney injury. This is because the fused kidneys often sit lower down and closer to the front of the body. A child with horseshoe kidney may not be able to play contact sports. Your child’s healthcare provider may also advise that your child wear a medical alert bracelet.
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: