Nephrologist in Lahore

Shrunken kidney, also known as renal atrophy, refers to a condition where one or both kidneys have decreased in size. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Prolonged kidney damage and dysfunction can lead to renal atrophy. Conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease can contribute to CKD and subsequent kidney shrinkage.

  2. Renal Artery Stenosis: Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys (renal arteries) can lead to reduced blood flow and oxygen delivery to the kidneys, resulting in tissue damage and atrophy.

  3. Renal Infarction: This occurs when blood flow to a part of the kidney is blocked, leading to tissue death and subsequent shrinkage of the affected area.

  4. Chronic Obstructive Uropathy: Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract, such as from kidney stones, tumors, or congenital abnormalities, can cause pressure damage to the kidneys, resulting in atrophy.

  5. Renal Hypoplasia: This is a congenital condition characterized by underdevelopment of one or both kidneys, leading to smaller than normal kidney size.

  6. Aging: As people age, there is a natural decrease in kidney size and function. However, significant renal atrophy beyond what is expected with aging is often indicative of an underlying health condition.

Signs and symptoms of shrunken kidney may vary depending on the underlying cause and the extent of kidney damage. Some individuals may not experience any symptoms, especially if the atrophy occurs gradually over time. However, common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling (edema) in the legs, ankles, or face
  • High blood pressure
  • Proteinuria (protein in the urine)
  • Elevated creatinine and urea levels in blood tests

Diagnosis of shrunken kidney typically involves imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to assess kidney size and structure. Blood tests may also be performed to evaluate kidney function and identify any underlying conditions contributing to renal atrophy.

Treatment of shrunken kidney depends on the underlying cause and may include managing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or urinary tract obstruction, as well as addressing any complications of kidney dysfunction. In some cases, treatment may aim to slow down the progression of kidney damage and preserve remaining kidney function. This may involve lifestyle modifications, medications, and, in advanced cases, renal replacement therapy such as dialysis or kidney transplantation.

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