We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Renal Dysplasia

May also be called: Kidney Dysplasia; Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney; MCDK

Renal dysplasia (REE-nul dis-PLAY-zhee-uh) is a condition in which one or both of a baby's kidneys develop abnormally in the womb, often causing cysts (fluid-filled sacs) to replace normal kidney tissue.

More to Know

Kidneys filter waste products from the blood to form urine (pee), which flows from the kidneys to the bladder through thin tubes called ureters. Normally, when a fetus is developing, ureters grow into kidneys and branch out to form the network that collects urine.

With renal dysplasia, this process is disrupted, and urine can't flow out of the affected kidney as it's supposed to. Instead, the urine collects inside the kidney and forms cysts. Renal dysplasia can be related to a genetic disorder, or prescription or illegal drugs used by a mother during pregnancy.

Usually, renal dysplasia is found in only one kidney, but in some cases, both kidneys may be affected. When only one kidney is involved, babies usually grow normally and may have no symptoms or health problems. Symptoms that can occur include problems with kidney function, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and, rarely, high blood pressure.

When renal dysplasia affects both kidneys, babies generally don't survive pregnancy; those who do need dialysis treatment and a kidney transplant early in life.

Keep in Mind

Most kids with renal dysplasia in only one kidney require no treatment and don't experience any problems or complications as a result of the condition. The unaffected kidney can take over and effectively do the work of both kidneys. However, these children still need to be closely monitored for UTIs and high blood pressure, both of which can damage the healthy kidney.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.