Renal Agenesis

What is Renal Agenesis?

Renal Agenesis is the congenital absence or severe malformation of one or both kidneys. The kidneys are part of the urinary system that also includes the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra. The kidneys filter out waste products from the blood and eliminate them as urine that flows through tubes called ureters to the bladder (the storage area) and then through the canal called the urethra. Bilateral Renal Agenesis is the absence of both kidneys (sometimes called Potter’s Syndrome). It is associated with oligohydramnios, a deficiency of amniotic fluid in a pregnant woman. Because the amniotic fluid normally acts as a cushion, too little fluid can cause compression of the fetus resulting in further malformations and problems such as growth retardation; pulmonary hypoplasia (underdeveloped lungs); low-set ears; and a broad, flat nose.

Unilateral Renal Agenesis (URA) is the absence of one kidney. The solitary kidney enlarges to compensate for the absent one and maintains normal kidney function. The ureter on the affected side may also be absent or abnormal. Abnormality of the reproductive tract on the affected side is sometimes associated with URA (more often in females than males).

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