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Home >> Specialities >> Kidney Transplant >> Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities

Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities

Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities or CAKUT is an umbrella term used for a wide range of developmental abnormalities that affect any part of the urinary tract. These problems are present since birth, i.e. a baby is born with them.  Congenital urinary tract abnormalities can be both structural and functional. The severity of the condition varies from one child to another, and these often lead to an increased susceptibility to urinary tract infections. In extreme cases, it can also lead to kidney failure. 

What are the different types of Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities?
Three of the most common types of Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities include:

  • Hypospadias - The birth defect is seen explicitly in boys and is quite familiar, with an incidence of 1 in 200. In boys suffering from the condition, the urethral opening is on the underside of the penis instead of its head. 
  • Ureteropelvic Junction (UPJ) Obstruction - The condition is marked by a blockage in the renal pelvis, which is located on the upper ends of the ureters and responsible for collecting urine. 
  • Renal Agenesis - It is a severe condition in which the baby is born with only one or no kidneys. 
  • Horseshoe Kidney - The condition is likely to affect 1 in 500 children and is marked by the fusion of two kidneys, i.e. the kidneys of the baby are joined together, forming a horseshoe-like shape 

What causes Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities?
Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities are developmental defects that are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. These are not known in the majority of the cases. 

What are the symptoms of Congenital Urinary Tract Abnormalities?
Various symptoms that could be an indication of obstructive uropathy include:

  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Poor growth 
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Lack of energy 

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