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Kidney Diseases

Dilated fetal`s kidney

12/14/2005

Question:

On my 25week scan midwife told me that baby`s right kidney is mildly dilated 6.8 mm. She arranged another appointment for 9 week to check again and said me that I don`t need to worry about this. She said me that if another scan will show the same thing baby will probably after birth need to use antibiotics to prevent infection. Do I need to worry about this, tell me please what is reason for this dilated kidney.

Answer:

"Dilated" means enlarged and stretched; when a kidney becomes dilated, this often means that there is some sort of blockage so that urine can't flow out of the kidney normally. Urine then collects inside the kidney, causing it to slowly become stretched and enlarged like a balloon. A blockage can be caused by several conditions, some of which develop even before birth. Many of these conditions can be repaired by surgery.

After you have your second ultrasound, you may wish to have your midwife refer you to a pediatric urologist (a surgeon who specializes in problems with children's kidneys and bladders). The urologist should be able to view the actual ultrasound films and give you more information.

Any time that urine flow is blocked, there is an increased chance for infection to occur (because small numbers of bacteria that are always in the urine can rapidly grow into large numbers if urine isn't frequently emptied out of the bladder). This is why your midwife suggested that your baby may need antibiotics after birth. But the most important thing is to figure out the cause of the blockage, and to correct it quickly if needed, because continued blockage can cause kidney damage.

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University