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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Fetal Kidneys

02/26/2009

Question:

My daughter is 30 weeks pregnant and in an ultra sound the doctor said there was too much fluid on the kidneys. She is sending her to a specialist. What could this mean?

Answer:

There are many potential causes of this condition, termed hydronephrosis. Often it is mild, and usually nothing is wrong. If it is moderate or severe, however, then there may be a blockage of some part of the urinary tract, urinary reflux or backflow from the bladder to the kidneys, or both; in some of these cases surgery is necessary, although usually not right away. If there is a normal volume of amniotic fluid around the baby, usually the baby will be fine. The definite diagnosis of the cause of the hydronephrosis generally cannot be made until after the baby is born.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University