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Rady Children's Specialists

Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney

What is a multicystic dysplastic kidney?

A multicystic dysplastic kidney is a kidney that resembles a bunch of grapes. The normal kidney tissue is replaced by multiple cysts. This cystic kidney does not have any function.

What are signs of multicystic dysplastic kidney and what tests are performed?

Most multicystic dysplastic kidneys are found on prenatal ultrasound before your child is born. Your child will have a follow up ultrasound after birth as well. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a renal scan that shows the kidney has no function.

How is a multicystic dysplastic kidney treated?

Many multicystic dysplastic kidneys are small and can regress over time. Your child will undergo routine ultrasounds to visualize this process as it happens. In some cases, the kidney does not shrink and may even grow. If this occurs, sometimes the kidney is removed surgically.