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Congenital Anomalies of the Kidneys and Urinary Tract (CAKUT)


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A congenital anomaly, also called a birth defect, means a baby is born with kidney or urinary tract structures that have developed differently. These anomalies occur during development in the womb. While some forms of CAKUT are part of a syndrome or are passed down in families, most occur randomly.

Types of CAKUT include:

  • Double ureter (ureteral duplication): two ureters — rather than one ureter, which is normal — drain a single kidney
  • Horseshoe kidney (renal fusion): kidneys that fuse together, forming a horseshoe shape
  • Meckel-Gruber syndrome: causes enlarged kidneys with fluid-filled cysts
  • Posterior urethral valve: an opening in the urethra (tube that urine flows through) that prevents urine from leaving the body
  • Prune belly syndrome (PBS or Eagle-Barrett syndrome): causes urinary tract malformations
  • Renal dysplasia: malformed structures within one or both kidneys
  • Ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction: part of the kidney is blocked

Symptoms vary, depending on the anomaly, but may include:

Pediatric nephrologists at University of Miami Health System have advanced expertise treating children with kidney and urinary tract anomalies. We offer the latest approaches and provide personalized attention to ensure your child gets the very best care possible.


Prenatal Ultrasound
In many cases, doctors can identify anomalies during a routine prenatal ultrasound during pregnancy.

Physical Exam
Your child’s doctor performs a thorough physical exam to assess the health and development of your child’s urinary tract and kidneys.


Your child may require surgery to correct the anomaly.

Your child may need medicine to manage the symptoms or the urinary tract or kidney condition.

Why Choose UHealth?

Recognized for excellence in treating kidney conditions. We’ve been recognized for our expertise in dealing with acute renal replacement therapies in young children and infants, as well as the management of severe urinary tract obstruction in developing fetuses and in newborns. We work closely with our highly skilled pediatric urology team to deliver comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for your child.

In 2016, the state of Florida renewed our designation as a Comprehensive Chronic Kidney Failure Center (CCKFC). We are one of only three such centers in the state. Our program has consistently ranked among the nation’s top pediatric nephrology programs for the past nine years by U.S. News & World Report. We’re proud to have received the best rank in the state of Florida.

Pair Donor Exchange Program for kidney transplant. If your child needs a kidney transplant, we’re experts in transplant and follow-up care. Our Pair Donor Exchange Program can help shorten your child’s wait time for a kidney. This program increases the opportunity for children who are incompatible with a majority of donor kidneys to be transplanted. Because the child receives a kidney from a living donor, they will usually have a better outcome.

Annual Pediatric Nephrology Seminar held every March. Celebrating our 45th year in 2018, this unique international gathering of nephrology specialists is an important forum for exchanging the latest innovations and research findings in pediatric nephrology. Pediatric and adult nephrologists, pediatricians, internists, general practitioners, pediatric urologists, and transplant surgeons from throughout the United States and the world attend this annual event.

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