Horseshoe Kidney

Also known as: super kidney, renal fusion, ren arcuatus.

What is horseshoe kidney?

Horseshoe kidney is a disorder in which the two kidneys are fused together as one at the lower end giving it a horseshoe-shaped “U” form.

It can occur alone or with other disorders, commonly genetic ones called Turner syndrome or Trisomy 18, or other abnormalities of the cardiovascular, central nervous system or urinary/reproductive, gastrointestinal or skeletal systems.

What causes horseshoe kidney?

Horseshoe kidney is a birth defect that children are born with. The exact cause is not known.

What are the symptoms of horseshoe kidney?

Some children have no symptoms; when present common symptoms may include:

  • kidney stones (with flank pain, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fever with cloudy or blood in the urine)
  • urinary tract infections
  • enlarged kidney (hydronephrosis with abdominal swelling, poor urine output, nausea, and abdominal pain).

What are horseshoe kidney care options?

Some children with horseshoe kidney require no treatment. Treatment of complications includes antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, and other medications and/or surgical procedures as required.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: August 03, 2022 10:40 AM


The Division of Nephrology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital treats kidney disorders and provides comprehensive evaluation of renal functions, including kidney biopsies.

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