Kidney Disease

Most people are born with two kidneys, bean-shaped organs located at either side of the spine, behind the abdominal organs and below the rib cage. The kidneys play a major role in keeping you healthy by filtering waste products from normal body functions out of the blood, passing them from the body as urine, and returning water and chemicals back to the body as necessary; regulating blood pressure by releasing several hormones; and stimulating red blood cell production by releasing the hormone erythropoietin.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital provides consultation and treatment for children with various diseases of the urinary tract and kidney, including those resulting in kidney failure.

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Some of the conditions we treat include:

  • Nephritis
  • Nephrosis
  • Hypertension
  • Electrolyte disorders
  • Disorders of calcium and phosphorus metabolism
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney stone disease
  • Nutrition and growth disorders related to kidney disease
  • Kidney failure

Causes of Kidney Failure

Children's kidney diseases that can progress to moderate or severe kidney failure include:

Congenital Kidney Disease:

  • Anatomic deformities of the posterior urethral valves or bladder
  • Reflux nephropathy, a failure of the bladder's valve mechanism that results in urine backing up into the kidney
  • Renal dysplasia, or abnormal growths in the kidneys

Genetic, or Inherited, Disease:

  • Polycystic kidney disease, numerous cysts in both kidneys that destroy normal kidney tissue
  • Alport's syndrome
  • Congenital nephrotic syndrome, resulting from damage to the kidneys' filtering structures, called glomeruli

Acquired Glomerulonephritis, or inflammation of the glomeruli, the kidneys' filtering units:

  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or scarring of the glomeruli
  • Vasculitis (granulomatosis with polyangiitis, polyarteritis nodosa, SLE)
  • IgA nephropathy
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis
  • Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
  • Henoch schonlein purpura
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Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Renal Center
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-2423
Appointment information

Kidney Transplant Program
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-8377
Toll-free: (800) 482-7389
Appointment information

Pediatric Dialysis Unit
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2425
Fax: (415) 353-2768
Appointment information

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