Born with a solitary kidney: at risk of hypertension

Claudio La Scola, Giuseppina Marra, Anita Ammenti, Andrea Pasini, Francesca Taroni, Cristina Bertulli, William Morello, Martina Ceccoli, Francesca Mencarelli, Stefano Guarino, Giuseppe Puccio, Giovanni Montini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Subjects with a congenital solitary kidney (CSK) are believed to be at risk of hypertension due to their low number of nephrons. However, as CSK is a congenital abnormality of the kidney or urinary tract (CAKUT), subtle dysplastic changes contributing to hypertension cannot be excluded. Methods: We retrospectively compared office blood pressure (OBP) and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) between two groups of children with CAKUT, aged 6–18 years: Group A with a CSK and Group B with two kidneys. All had normal renal parenchyma on scintigraphy and normal renal function. OBP and mean systolic and diastolic 24-h, daytime and nighttime ambulatory BP records were analyzed. The distribution of OBP and APBM as continuous values and the prevalence of hypertension (ambulatory/severe ambulatory or masked hypertension) in the two groups were compared. Results: There were 81 patients in Group A and 45 in Group B. Median OBP standard deviation scores were normal in both groups, without significant differences. Median ABPM standard deviation scores, although normal, were significantly higher in Group A and the prevalence of hypertension was higher (ambulatory/severe ambulatory or masked) (33.3 vs. 13.3%, p = 0.019), mainly because of the greater occurrence of masked hypertension. Conclusions: Our data show that a CSK per se can be associated with an increased risk of hypertension from the pediatric age. Therefore, ABPM, which has proved valuable in the screening of hypertension, is warranted in children with a CSK, even if laboratory and imaging assessment is otherwise normal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1490
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Children
  • Congenital solitary kidney
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology


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