Which Children Need a Kidney Transplant?
The first group comprises infants, children and adolescents whose kidney function has been so degraded by disease that they can continue to live only on dialysis — an artificial process that replaces the nonfunctioning kidneys. For these young people, transplantation offers a longer-term solution and the prospect of better health and greater independence.
The second group is made up of young people who suffer from a long list of kidney diseases. Not every child who suffers from these maladies, however, requires transplantation:
- Blockage of the kidneys present at birth and leading to severe, damaging back-up of urine into the kidney (known technically as congenital urological obstructive disorders resulting in hydronephrosis)
- Congenital nephrotic syndrome
- Alport syndrome
- Nephropathic and juvenile cystinosis
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Nail patella syndrome
- Berger’s disease
- Henoch-Schönlein purpura
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- Wegener’s granulomatosis
- Goodpasture syndrome
To find out more about the structure and function of the kidneys, the role they play in maintaining life and the diseases that can affect them, please visit our Health Library.