A child may be born with a kidney condition or acquire one through disease or infection. Our pediatric nephrology (kidney care) specialists evaluate and treat a wide range of kidney (renal) problems in children, including urinary tract infection, high blood pressure and kidney damage caused by diseases such as acute glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis and chronic kidney disease.
Some of the kidney problems we evaluate include:
- hematuria: blood in the urine
- proteinuria: protein in the urine
- kidney stones
- urinary tract infections
- bedwetting: called enuresis
- dysfunctional voiding: a group of bladder symptoms that may occur together and include frequent urination during the day, urinary accidents during the day, the urge to urinate and an inability to sense when the bladder is full
- high blood pressure: referred to as hypertension
- nephrotic syndrome: a group of symptoms that occur together and include edema or body swelling, protein in the urine, low blood protein levels and high blood cholesterol
- polycystic kidney disease: a hereditary disorder in which multiple cysts, at least two or more, form in both kidneys
- renal tubular acidosis: a condition that involves an accumulation of acid in the body due to the kidneys’ failure to filter urine properly
- glomerulonephritis: inflammation of the glomeruli, the structures inside the kidney that help to filter the blood
- effects of structural birth defects on the formation of the urinary tract: hydronephrosis (swollen kidney), obstruction (blockage), vesicoureteral reflux and renal agenesis (born with one kidney)
- multicystic kidney disease: abnormal fetal development that leads to the development of multiple cysts in the place where a kidney should be
- Fanconi syndrome: a disorder of the small kidney tubes in which certain substances normally absorbed into the bloodstream by the kidneys are released into the urine instead
- acute renal insufficiency: a rapid, sudden decrease of kidney function due to damage, inflammation or injury
- chronic kidney disease: a slow worsening of kidney function over time due to disease
- end-stage renal disease (ESRD)/chronic kidney disease stage 5: when chronic kidney disease has progressed to the point that the kidneys are completely or almost completely unable to remove water and clean the blood of toxins
- systemic lupus erythematosus: autoimmune disease (when the body’s immune system reacts against itself) associated with kidney problems such as hematuria, proteinuria, hypertension and/or glomerulonephritis
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
For Information: (610) 557-4800
Fax: (610) 557-4816
Hours: Second Thursday of each month, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Registration (PDF)
You may also bring (if available):
- copies of any previous imaging studies (both interpretations of results by other professionals as well as laboratory results, ultrasound, CT scan or nuclear medicine studies)
- copies of any previous evaluations by other nephrologists
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
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Pediatric nephrology specialists (called “nephrologists” or “kidney specialists”) based out of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del., travel to Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Newtown Square to provide consultation, evaluation and treatment for children with a wide range of kidney problems.
What to Expect at a Pediatric Nephrology Visit
At your child’s first visit, we will perform a thorough physical exam and take a complete family history. We will also likely order blood tests, urine tests and imaging studies — renal ultrasounds and, in certain cases, CT scans or nuclear medicine studies. These tests assess the structure and function of your child’s kidneys. In some cases, depending upon your child’s symptoms and other test findings, a percutaneous (through the skin) kidney biopsy may be required to assist in a diagnosis.
Because many kidney problems overlap with diseases of the urinary tract, our pediatric nephrology staff at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Newtown Square often collaborates with Nemours urology specialists. Other specialists, such as rheumatologists, may also be involved, as in the case of lupus-related kidney disease. Together, we can offer the most up-to-date and effective treatment plan for your child.
How We Treat Your Child’s Pediatric Nephrology Condition
Treatment options can vary widely depending on your child’s stage of disease. Some kidney problems may require diet modifications, medication or surgery to correct an anatomical defect, while others might require long-term dialysis (using a machine to help the kidneys filter blood) or a kidney transplant. Our pediatric nephrology staff at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Newtown Square also has expertise in managing the many side effects children experience as a result of renal failure, including stunted growth.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
Because kidney problems and high blood pressure (hypertension) often occur together, your child’s blood pressure will need to be carefully monitored. However, a single reading taken at the doctor’s office isn’t always accurate. Some children and teens have what's called "white coat hypertension," meaning that their blood pressure rises at a doctor's office because they are anxious. That’s why we offer ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, a test where your child’s blood pressure is measured at regular intervals over the course of a normal day at home. This gives a more accurate picture of your child’s hypertension, and allows us to form a better plan for keeping your child’s blood pressure under control.
End-Stage Kidney Disease
If your child has end-stage renal disease (when kidney damage is severe and the kidneys are failing), the highly skilled solid organ transplant team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children can offer the hope of a kidney transplant. Nearly all children with end-stage kidney disease eventually receive transplants. If a living related donor can't be found, dialysis may be required until a donor kidney becomes available from the local and national organ donor waiting lists.