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Kidney Diseases

ESRD with Shrunken Kidneys



My son was born in hypoxy situation with no/less blood flow to his kidneys during labor. This resulted in him being in NICU with dialysis from day 5 of his life. An ultrasound at 6 weeks showed his left kidney to be 3.9 cm and right kidney at 3.1 cm. He is currently 6 months old and undergoing PD with a creatinine of 1.05. What are the normal kidney sizes for his age. Does origin have any impact on the size. He is of asian origin and was 20.5 cm long at birth. Is there any hope that the kidneys could grow enough. Thanks in advance for a response.


The usual size for kidneys in a 6-month-old boy is approximately 5 cm. There are factors other than kidney length that we use to try to predict what will happen to kidney function. Unfortunately, if he is already receiving dialysis, it is highly unlikely that his kidneys will grow or begin to function to allow him to stop receiving dialysis.

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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