Nephrology - Paediatric
While kidney diseases are often associated with poor lifestyles and old age, children also suffer from a host of issues related to their kidneys. The kidney diseases in children could be congenital (from birth) such as hydronephrosis or an obstruction of the urinary tract. Children can also contract urinary tract infections, kidney stones, renal failure and other diseases and medical issues.
The expertise and skills needed to treat children are very different from those needed for adults and are thus treated by a dedicated team of paediatric nephrologists.
Narayana health has a long history with new-born and child care and its hospitals are seen as centres of excellence for several specialities and this includes nephrology. With well-trained staff, modern facilities and medical equipment, Nephrologists at NH are able to provide the right treatment, diagnosis, and care for any number of issues be it simple or complex.
Nephrology - Paediatric FAQs
Paediatric nephrologists deal with the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders affecting the kidney and urinary tract in children. They work in coordination with specialized nurses, dieticians and other healthcare professionals to treat kidney failure, inherited kidney diseases, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and abnormalities in the urine, such as the presence of blood and protein. Generally, paediatric nephrologists provide the following services:
- Kidney biopsies
- Kidney transplantation
- Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
- x-ray studies interpretation of the kidney
- Interpretation of laboratory studies related to kidney
Kidney diseases in children can be caused by
- Birth defects
- Hereditary diseases
- Urine blockage or reflux
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Systemic diseases
Your doctor may first order a physical exam and then ask for the medical history and symptoms. The diagnosis of kidney disease can be confirmed by one or more of the following tests.
Dipstick test for albumin: The presence of albumin in the urine may indicate kidney damage. In the dipstick test, a strip of chemically treated paper is placed on the urine sample. The presence of albumin changes the colour of the paper.
Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio: This offers a precise measurement of the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio so that kidney damage can be confirmed.
Blood test: This is used to estimate how much blood the kidneys filter each minute.
Imaging studies: Imaging studies help the doctor to obtain a picture of the kidneys so that any abnormalities present can be identified.
Kidney biopsy: This involves taking a small sample of kidney tissue and then examining it under a microscope. Through kidney biopsy, the cause and extent of damage caused to the kidneys can be determined.
The treatment for kidney disease in children depends on the cause of the condition. If the disease is leading to high blood pressure, medications may be prescribed. As the blood pressure stabilizes, the progression of kidney disease will be significantly slowed down. Some of the medications used in the treatment are:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers: They help the heart to pump blood easily by relaxing the blood vessels.
- Diuretics: They help to increase urine output.
In addition to these, other types of blood pressure medications may also be necessary.
With declining kidney function, treatment for anaemia and growth failure have to be provided. Anaemia is treated with erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. In case of growth failure, children have to take food supplements, growth hormone injections and make changes to their diet.
If kidney disease leads to kidney failure, the child has to go for dialysis or transplantation.
Some of the signs and symptoms of the urinary tract or kidney problems include:
- Significant increase in the frequency of urination
- Burning sensations or pain during urination
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Difficulty in controlling the urination
- swelling around the eyes, face, feet, and ankles (called oedema)
- recurrence of night-time bedwetting (in kids who have been dry for several months)
- high blood pressure