Renal agenesis classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]



Bilateral renal agenesis

Bilateral renal agenesis is uncommon and is a serious condition. See Potter syndrome.

Bilateral Renal Agenesis is the absence of both kidneys at birth. It is a genetic disorder characterized by a failure of the kidneys to develop in a fetus. This absence of kidneys causes a deficiency of amniotic fluid (Oligohydramnios) in a pregnant woman. Normally, the amniotic fluid acts as a cushion for the developing fetus. When there is an insufficient amount of this fluid, compression of the fetus may occur resulting in further malformations of the baby.

This disorder is more common in infants born of a parent who has a kidney malformation, particularly the absence of one kidney (unilateral renal agenesis). Studies have proven that unilateral renal agenesis and bilateral renal agenesis are genetically related. 1 in 3 infants with this congenital defect are still born. Most infants that are born alive do not live beyond four hours.

Unilateral renal agenesis

This is much more common, but is not usually of any major concern, as long as the other kidney is healthy. The odds of a person being born with this condition are roughly 1 in 5000. Adults with unilateral renal agenesis have considerably higher chances of hypertension and high blood pressure. Most contact sports would be advised against.