Congenital Solitary Kidney in Children: Size Matters

J Urol. 2016 Oct;196(4):1250-6. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.03.173. Epub 2016 Apr 7.


Purpose: We assessed renal function outcome in children with congenital solitary kidney and evaluated prognostic risk factors.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively studied the clinical charts of 210 children presenting with congenital solitary kidney at 2 pediatric nephrology and 5 pediatric units between January 2009 and October 2012. Children 0 to 18 years old with a congenital solitary kidney confirmed by scintigraphy were enrolled. Of the patients 146 were suitable for analysis. Median followup was 4.6 years. Primary outcome was decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate, and secondary outcome was occurrence of proteinuria and/or systemic hypertension. Primary outcome-free survival analysis was performed, including multiple regression analysis of significant risk factors.

Results: Decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate was present in 12% of children at a median age of 2.2 years. Primary outcome-free survival analysis revealed an estimated event-free survival of 82% (95% CI 74% to 91%) at 10 years. Estimated survival rate was significantly decreased in children with additional congenital anomalies of the kidney/urinary tract (54% vs 88% overall) or insufficient renal length vs expected for normal congenital solitary kidney. The latter was the strongest predictor of decreased estimated outcome-free survival (49% vs 89%, p <0.001). Occurrence of proteinuria and/or systemic hypertension was present in less than 5% of children.

Conclusions: Some children with congenital solitary kidney show decreased glomerular filtration rate. Associated anomalies of the kidney/urinary tract and insufficient renal length appear to be significant risk factors. Adequate length of the congenital solitary kidney is a key parameter for maintenance of renal function and should be examined routinely during followup.

Keywords: CAKUT; renal insufficiency, chronic; ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Solitary Kidney / congenital
  • Solitary Kidney / diagnosis*
  • Solitary Kidney / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography / methods*