Management of the congenital solitary kidney: consensus recommendations of the Italian Society of Pediatric Nephrology

Pediatr Nephrol. 2022 Sep;37(9):2185-2207. doi: 10.1007/s00467-022-05528-y. Epub 2022 Jun 17.


In recent years, several studies have been published on the prognosis of children with congenital solitary kidney (CSK), with controversial results, and a worldwide consensus on management and follow-up is lacking. In this consensus statement, the Italian Society of Pediatric Nephrology summarizes the current knowledge on CSK and presents recommendations for its management, including diagnostic approach, nutritional and lifestyle habits, and follow-up. We recommend that any antenatal suspicion/diagnosis of CSK be confirmed by neonatal ultrasound (US), avoiding the routine use of further imaging if no other anomalies of kidney/urinary tract are detected. A CSK without additional abnormalities is expected to undergo compensatory enlargement, which should be assessed by US. We recommend that urinalysis, but not blood tests or genetic analysis, be routinely performed at diagnosis in infants and children showing compensatory enlargement of the CSK. Extrarenal malformations should be searched for, particularly genital tract malformations in females. An excessive protein and salt intake should be avoided, while sport participation should not be restricted. We recommend a lifelong follow-up, which should be tailored on risk stratification, as follows: low risk: CSK with compensatory enlargement, medium risk: CSK without compensatory enlargement and/or additional CAKUT, and high risk: decreased GFR and/or proteinuria, and/or hypertension. We recommend that in children at low-risk periodic US, urinalysis and BP measurement be performed; in those at medium risk, we recommend that serum creatinine also be measured; in high-risk children, the schedule has to be tailored according to kidney function and clinical data.

Keywords: Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract; Congenital solitary kidney; Multicystic dysplastic kidney; Renal agenesis; Renal aplasia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney
  • Nephrology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Solitary Kidney* / congenital
  • Urogenital Abnormalities* / diagnosis