Congenital Anomalies of the Urinary Tract

Also known as: congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract, CAKUT, congenital genitourinary anomalies, bladder anomalies, congenital urogenital malformations

What are congenital anomalies of the urinary tract?

Congenital anomalies of the urogenital tract, are a broad group of common, mild to life-threatening malformations (approx. 30% of all prenatally diagnosed malformations) of the kidney/ureters/bladder/urethra/penis/testis/and female genitalia (one or more parts) present at birth that occur during fetal development of the urinary/genital system. They are often accompanied by other birth defects outside the kidney's/collecting system (ureters/bladder/urethra). Several are part of a “syndrome” (a collection of signs and symptoms that usually are found together); some are not (“non-syndromic”). In young children CAKUT are a leading cause of kidney failure and renal transplantation.

What causes congenital anomalies of the urinary tract? 

Causes vary; some appear to be genetic (inherited), in others environment may play a role.

What are the signs/symptoms of congenital anomalies of the urinary tract? 

Signs/Symptoms of congenital anomalies of the urinary/genital tract vary widely depending on what part of the urinary/genital system is affected and whether other body systems are involved.

What are congenital anomalies of the urinary tract care options? 

While some congenital anomalies of the urinary/genital tract do not cause any symptoms, and require no treatment, others depending on a variety of factors may require extensive medical and surgical interventions. 

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/1/2018 1:08:20 PM

From the Newsdesk

Nicklaus Children's Hospital to offer new rapid genetic test
05/03/2018 — Nicklaus Children's Hospital will be one of a handful in the country to offer a fast turn-around on genome sequencing that can be a key to saving infants with rare and hard-to-diagnose genetic disorders. As seen on The Miami Herald.
Nicklaus Children’s Opens Subspecialty Care Center in Boynton Beach
11/07/2017 — The Boynton Beach Care Center is the newest Nicklaus Children’s care location and offers a range of services for children from birth through 21 years of age.


Nicklaus Children’s is among the first pediatric facilities in the region to offer robotic single-site incision surgery for children utilizing the da Vinci Xi® system. The technique offers a single incision minimally invasive surgical option for gallbladder or ovarian surgeries in children.