KidsMD Health Topics

Horseshoe Kidney in Children

  • Horseshoe kidney is a condition in which the kidneys are fused together at the lower end or base. By fusing, they form a "U" shape, which gives it the name "horseshoe."

    • Horseshoe kidney occurs during fetal development, as the kidneys move into their normal position in the flank area (area around the side, just above the waist).

    • Horseshoe kidney occurs in about one in 500 children.

    • Horseshoe kidney can occur alone or in combination with other disorders. The most common disorders seen with horseshoe kidney include:

      • Turner syndrome a genetic disorder seen in girls that causes them to be shorter than others and to not mature sexually as they grow into adulthood. Sixty percent of girls with Turner syndrome have horseshoe kidneys.

      • Trisomy 18 a serious chromosome abnormality involving defects in nearly all organ systems, including horseshoe kidney in 20 percent of children affected.

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