Duplicated Kidney

Kidney, ureter and bladder renderingWhat is duplicated kidney (ureteral duplication)?

A duplicated kidney, also referred to as an ureteral duplication or duplicated collecting system, means that a kidney has two ureters draining the kidney rather than the normal one. The two ureters may either drain the kidney into the bladder independently of one another or as a single ureter into the bladder. This condition can occur in one or both of the child’s kidneys.

What causes duplicated kidney (ureteral duplication)?

The cause of duplicated kidney is unknown; however, some cases have been reported in siblings, suggesting a genetic component. It is more common in girls than in boys.

How is a duplicated kidney diagnosed?

Duplicated kidney is typically found incidentally when screening for other concerns, normally on an ultrasound.

Are other conditions associated with duplicated kidney?

Duplicated kidney typically does not cause serious medical problems. However, the condition can be associated with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), ectopic ureter or ureterocele.

What is the treatment for duplicated kidney?

Treatments are determined by the child’s physician based on:

  • The child’s age, overall health and medical history.
  • The extent of the condition.
  • The child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies.
  • Expectations for the course of the condition.
  • The family’s opinion or preference.

On its own, duplicated kidney typically needs no medical intervention. If the condition is associated with a urinary tract infection, ureterocele, VUR or ectopic ureter, patients may require treatment to treat those specific conditions.