Hypertension and microalbuminuria in children with congenital solitary kidneys

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According to the hyperfiltration hypothesis, a low nephron endowment will lead to hyperfiltration in the remaining glomeruli and is associated with systemic hypertension, proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis. Being born with one functioning kidney instead of two, for instance because of unilateral renal agenesis or multicystic dysplastic kidney, is a cause of congenital renal mass reduction.


In order to study the effect of congenital renal mass reduction on renal function and blood pressure, a retrospective chart review of 66 patients at the Pediatric Renal Center of the VU University Medical Center was performed. As intrauterine growth restriction is associated with a low nephron endowment, the additional effect of birthweight was also studied.


A total of 50% of patients with congenital renal mass reduction is found to be hypertensive, using anti-hypertensive drugs, and/or having microalbuminuria (>20 μg/min). Patients born small for gestational age have significantly smaller kidneys and lower estimated glomerular filtration rate than patients with a normal birthweight.


We conclude that microalbuminuria and/or hypertension is present in 50% of patients with congenital solitary kidneys, which warrants a systematic follow-up of blood pressure, proteinuria and renal function in all patients with congenital solitary functioning kidneys, especially in patients with a low birthweight.

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