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
Clinic Location: 4th Floor
Hours: Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For Appointments: (407) 650-7715
- 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
The pediatric nephrology specialists (kidney specialists) at Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH) provide consultation, evaluation and treatment for children with a wide range of kidney conditions (including kidney stones and chronic kidney disease stage 5) on an inpatient and outpatient basis at the hospital, and at our satellite specialty care locations in downtown Orlando, Lake Mary and Melbourne in Florida.
With the latest medical technology and family-designed amenities, we’re committed to providing the very best care — treating your child as our very own. Our family-centered approach to medicine means that you are always involved in the decision-making process and are an integral member of your child’s care team.
At your child’s first visit, we’ll 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 or "CAT" scans or nuclear medicine studies. These tests assess the structure and function of your child’s kidneys. In some cases, depending on your child’s symptoms and other test findings, a percutaneous (through the skin) kidney biopsy may be performed to assist in a diagnosis.
Because many kidney problems overlap with diseases of the urinary tract, we often work closely with specialists from urology. Other specialists, such as rheumatologists (in the case of lupus-related kidney disease), oncologists (cancer-treating doctors) and hematologists (blood disorder specialists) may also be involved. Together, we offer the most up-to-date and effective treatment plan for your child.
Treatment options for pediatric nephrology conditions 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 or a kidney transplant. Our staff also has expertise in managing the side effects children experience as a result of renal failure, including stunted growth.
With a whole-child focus on health and healing, we provide many other family-centered services, including:
- nurse educators to teach you how to manage your child’s condition
- dieticians to provide nutritional recommendations
- social workers to help you cope with your child’s condition
- Child Life specialists to engage your child in therapeutic play and stress relief activities
- nondenominational pastoral care for spiritual support and guidance
What used to be considered an adult condition, kidney stones in children and teens is on the rise in the U.S. (and especially prevalent in the Southeast) due to poor dietary habits and some medical conditions. The pediatric experts at Nemours Children’s Hospital are experienced in evaluating the causes of pediatric kidney stones and employing the most innovative, advanced care including non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques to help stones pass with minimal pain, and, if necessary, robotic surgical stone removal. We also offer ongoing long-term, family-centered care to prevent future kidney stones from forming.
When your child comes to the Pediatric Stone Center at Nemours, our team of specialists will evaluate everything from kidney and urinary function, to nutrition and lifestyle habits on the same day, so you can get the answers you need right away. What’s more, most of our physicians also speak Spanish.
For children with chronic kidney disease stage 5 or end-stage renal disease, our pediatric nephrology program offers several treatment options, including dialysis, continuous renal replacement therapy and kidney transplant.
When the kidneys are no longer able to filter the blood, a machine can do the job for them.
We offer two types of dialysis:
- Hemodialysis: A process that allows your child’s blood to flow a few ounces at a time through a large machine while a special solution called dialysate removes waste products. The clean blood is then returned to your child’s body. This happens in a hospital and is usually performed several times a week for at least 4 hours.
- Peritoneal dialysis: A process that uses your child’s abdominal cavity to “clean” the blood. Dialysate fluid is introduced through a long soft tube that is placed in the abdomen and flushed out either every night while your child sleeps or several times throughout the day. Vast improvements in dialysis technology and clinical expertise enable even the smallest children, including newborns, to receive safe, effective dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is preferentially used to treat young, small patients since families can be trained to handle this procedure at home.
Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy
This technique, mostly used for hospital inpatients, allows dialysis to occur slowly over a 24-hour period.
Kidney transplant is the preferred option and nearly all children with chronic kidney disease stage 5 or end-stage kidney disease will eventually receive kidney transplants. If a living related donor cannot be found, dialysis may be required until a donor kidney becomes available from the donor waiting list.