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What is Kidney (Renal) Dysplasia and Cystic Disease?

Most kidneys work well cleaning the blood from waste and keeping the body’s fluids and electrolytes in balance. A problem can occur during early kidney development in utero that results in an abnormal kidney (kidney dysplasia). Cysts, or fluid filled sacs, replace normal kidney tissue. As a result, kidney function can deteriorate before or after birth. Children with end stage kidney function will require blood-filtering treatment (kidney dialysis) until a kidney is available to be transplanted.

What Happens Under Normal Conditions?

Male Urinary Tract
Male Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Female Urinary Tract
Female Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

The kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They're found in your upper back on either side of the spine.

When healthy, your kidneys:

  • Clean the blood of waste by making urine
  • Balance fluids and certain elements in your blood (such as sodium and potassium)
  • Make hormones to control blood pressure and red blood cells

Reduced kidney function linked to renal dysplasia and cystic disease, may cause no problems at all. But over time health problems may develop.