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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Reoccurance of Bilateral Multicystic Kidneys



At our 20 week scan we found that there was no amniotic fluid and after an autopsy it was revealed that our baby had bilateral multicystic kidneys. Can you tell me the reoccurance rate of this disorder? We had another miscarriage at 16.5 weeks 2 years earlier for unknown causes. We are anxious to try again but obviously scared. Thanks in advance.


Your baby had a very rare malformation. Most of the time, a multicystic kidney only occurs on one side, and the other kidney functions well. When one child has a multicystic kidney, there is a slightly increased risk that future children may have the same malformation, but the chance of it occurring is low. In other words, there is no evidence that you and your partner have a common genetic condition involving the kidneys that has a significant likelihood of affecting future babies. I think it would be quite reasonable to try for another pregnancy with high risk monitoring.

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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