Explore This Treatment Program

Overview

The full-service Pediatric Nephrology & Hypertension Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) emphasizes personalized, prompt and friendly consultation and care for both inpatients and outpatients. We offer comprehensive evaluation and management of all disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract that may affect infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Children seen as outpatients are evaluated in the welcoming, friendly environment of the pediatric subspecialty clinic in the Yawkey Center on the Massachusetts General Hospital Main Campus or at one of our satellite locations throughout the area. Our location within a world-renowned academic medical center allows access to the experienced subspecialists and the cutting-edge technology at Mass General.

Our physicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all aspects of kidney disease in infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, including:

  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Proteinuria (protein in urine)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hydronephrosis and other congenital renal disorders, including prenatal consultations
  • Voiding disorders (problems with normal urination)
  • Nephrolithiasis (kidney stones) and Nephrocalcinosis (calcium deposits in the kidneys)
  • Glomerular disease and other kinds of nephritis
  • Urinary tract infections (pyelonephritis, cystitis, and urethritis)
  • Vesicoureteral reflux and reflux nephropathy
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure
  • Obstructive uropathy and other birth defects of the urinary tracts
  • Renal cystic diseases (including polycystic kidney disease)
  • Metabolic diseases that affect the kidneys, blood pressure, and blood chemistries
  • Renal tubular diseases including abnormalities in urinary calcium, phosphate, and magnesium excretion
  • Diabetes Insipidus
  • Genetic conditions (including Alport Syndrome, Lowe Syndrome, cystinuria, mitochondrial disorders, tuberous sclerosis complex, neurofibromatosis, pseudohypoparathyroidism and others)

Comprehensive renal diagnosis is performed with on-site urinary microscopy and renal functional studies. Imaging studies, 24-hour blood-pressure monitoring, renal biopsy and genetic testing are performed when indicated.

Specialty Programs within Nephrology

While our specialists see patients with all forms of kidney disease, our division offers several further specialized clinics within nephrology to address very specific conditions:

Hypertension Clinic: The Pediatric Hypertension Clinic at MGHfC offers comprehensive evaluation and management of children with all causes of hypertension. We have a full consultative team including members of the cardiology, gastroenterology and nutrition units. We offer 24-hour ambulatory blood-pressure monitoring and echocardiography, as well as angiographic imaging when needed. Children with hypertension are more likely to have kidney conditions that cause high blood pressure and need a more detailed diagnostic evaluation than adults in order to understand and treat their high blood pressure conditions. Unfortunately, obesity can also cause high blood pressure, and the growing number of children with obesity has led to a surge in the prevalence of pediatric hypertension. Because of the association between long-term cardiovascular disease and hypertension, our approach to high blood pressure in children includes an evaluation of associated cardiovascular risk factors, such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity and family risk factors.

Chronic Kidney Disease and Renal Transplantation: Our division works conjointly with the Mass General Division of Transplant Surgery and the Mass General Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis Units to provide full and coordinated care in the evaluation and treatment of chronic renal failure and end-stage renal disease. We work closely with families to choose hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or renal transplantation as the best option for their child's renal replacement therapy. Social services, renal dietitians, nutritionists and renal nursing are an integral part of the available resources.

Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis): Our kidney stone program includes a complete metabolic evaluation of all children with kidney stones. We work closely with the Division of Pediatric Urology to provide complete care of children with stones, including ureteroscopy and lithotripsy when needed.

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC): Our division is the primary renal referral center of The Carol and James Herscot Center for TSC at Massachusetts General Hospital. In collaboration with pediatric and adult diagnostic and interventional radiologists ,urologists, pathologists, and internists, we diagnose, monitor and treat all kidney problems of both children and adults with TSC.

Young Adult Transition Clinic: As adolescents and young adults grow and mature, managing their chronic disease is an additional challenge that comes with the added responsibilities of adulthood. Recognizing that this period in one’s life has its own unique challenges, our division works closely with the MGH Renal Associates (adult Nephrology) to make the transition to adulthood a smooth one.

Disorders of Calcium and Bone Metabolism: Our staff is nationally known for expertise in the field of calcium, vitamin D and bone metabolism. We provide state–of–the–art interpretation of bone density tests in children and teenagers, and a comprehensive discussion of strategies to improve bone density in a variety of conditions. We work closely with our colleagues in Pediatric Endocrinology to provide expertise in rare disorders of calcium and phosphate metabolism. Learn more about the Pediatric Bone and Mineral Metabolism Disorders Clinic.

At MassGeneral Hospital for Children, we know that the time of your child's diagnosis and treatment may be very stressful, and we strive to provide an open, welcoming and supportive environment. We believe that no one knows a child as well as his or her parents. Parents, along with primary care providers, become our partners in a child's care and have an active voice in all treatment plans.