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Kidney Diseases

Kidney Scarring

08/23/2010

Question:

in 1989 I had a blockage on my right kidney which left it scarred, Since then I have had one stone romoved from each kidney and 4 years ago I was told I had about 9 stones on each kidney. In June this year I had a really bad headaches which made me vomit badly and also a severe pain in the side of my back below the kidney I was admitted to hospital with dehydration and told I had pyelonephritis. I was in hospital 3 days where I was put on a drip and given antibiotics and then sent home. I am still vomiting and still have a severe pain by my right kidney. My specialist says I havent got stones and that the kidney is functioning and the scaring shouldnt be giving me pain. I constantly feel sick and cant eat my blood pressure is very high and I am itching all over my body.

Answer:

I cannot give a definite answer from the information that you have provided, but in reading over your description, I am concerned about two things:

1) that your right kidney may be infected (pyelonephritis) or blocked (for instance, from scar tissue).

2) that you may have kidney failure due to the previous damage to your right kidney, plus new damage from the antibiotics you've received, from contrast dye that may have been used to to imaging studies (such as a CT scan), or as a side effect of blood pressure medications.  Your high blood pressure is certainly a very bad sign, as are your symptoms.

If you have fever and chills, an infection is likely.  If not, kidney blockage or kidney failure from the causes listed above are more likely.  In either case, you need to be seen as soon as possible by a physician (a general internist or emergency dept doc will do fine; you do not necessarily need a kidney specialist at this point, although if you can get an immediate appointment with one, that would be the best thing).  Once the doctor checks blood and urine tests, and possibly an ultrasound, it sounds likely that you will need to be admitted to the hospital again for further care and testing. 

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Response by:

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