Horseshoe Kidney Symptoms & Causes

What complications are associated with horseshoe kidney?

One-third of people with horseshoe kidneys have at least one other complication involving the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system or the genitourinary system (which is the reproductive organs and urinary system) such as the following:

  • kidney stones - crystals and proteins that form stones in the kidney that may lead to a urinary tract obstruction.

  • hydronephrosis - enlargement of the kidneys that is usually the result of a urinary tract obstruction.

  • Wilm's tumor - an embryonic (newly-formed) tumor of the kidneys that usually occurs during early childhood.

  • renal cancer or polycystic kidney disease

  • hydrocephaly and/or spina bifida

  • various cardiovascular, gastrointestinal conditions or skeletal problems

What are the symptoms of horseshoe kidney?

While each child may experience symptoms differently, the most common symptoms of horseshoe kidney include:

  • kidney stones - if the stones remain in the kidney, your child may have no symptoms. If the stones pass through her urinary tract, she could experience the following symptoms:
    • flank (around the side, just above the waist) pain
    • restlessness
    • sweating
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • blood in urine
    • changes in urinary frequency
    • chills
    • fever
    • cloudy urine
  • hydronephrosis - occurs when there is a urinary tract obstruction and the kidney(s) become enlarged and potentially damaged. Symptoms of hydronephrosis may include the following:
    • abdominal mass
    • poor weight gain
    • decreased urination
    • urinary tract infection

About one-third of children with horseshoe kidney have no symptoms.