How do we treat MCDK?

There is no treatment for MCDK. Sometimes, in babies who have unilateral MCDK, the unhealthy kidney will shrink and eventually disappear.

After your baby is born, a pediatric urologist (surgical doctor who cares for problems with the urinary tract) and a pediatric nephrologist (kidney doctor) will order an ultrasound to check how well both of your baby’s kidneys are working. The pediatric urologist will help make sure the working kidney stays as healthy as possible and check for problems with the unhealthy kidney. The pediatric nephrologist will also check how your baby’s healthy kidney works long-term.

Your baby will have ultrasounds every 6 months to a year. These ultrasounds check how well both kidneys are working and check for problems with the unhealthy kidney.

What is the long-term outlook for babies with MCDK?

There is no treatment for MCDK. Most babies with unilateral MCDK go on to live normal, healthy lives. Your baby will see a pediatric urologist or a pediatric nephrologist as they grow up.

Babies born with bilateral MCDK do not have working kidneys. These babies often do not survive. If they can survive, they will need intensive care. This might include dialysis (a tube that filters out waste from the body) or a kidney transplant. If you baby has bilateral MCDK, we will talk with you about next steps and support you every step of the way.

Rev. 2/2019. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.