Kidney (renal) disease can interfere with physical and mental developmental processes and can place children at high risk of contracting infections, bone disease and cancer through long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs. Children whose condition worsens to end-stage renal disease — also called ESRD or kidney failure — must be placed on dialysis or undergo a kidney transplant. Physicians may prescribe urine tests, blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT), a kidney biopsy or other means to evaluate and diagnose suspected kidney ailments.

Kidney transplantation offers the best outcomes for children with kidney failure, but complications including slow rejection of transplanted organs may require subsequent transplants. The Nephrology Clinic is also involved in preparing patients for surgery and in coordinating their post-surgical care and recovery.

Children typically require dialysis for either of two principal reasons:

  • For chronic kidney conditions
  • For acute kidney failure

The Department of Nephrology coordinates with the Department of Internal Medicine in administering kidney dialysis for chronic conditions. While the hemodialysis we provide within our facility is the predominant approach in treating chronic conditions, we also train patients and their parents to perform acute peritoneal dialysis at home. In conjunction with the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, we also provide state-of-the-art continuous hemodialysis procedures for critically ill children.

Urinary stones in children are uncommon and require specialized care. The workup and treatment of pediatric stone disease is different in that children tend to have identifiable chemical imbalances, have a higher recurrence rate, are more susceptible to radiation from imaging studies and the smaller size of organs makes surgical treatment more difficult. The mission of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic is to provide comprehensive care to children and families with heightened attention to these issues. We are a multi-disciplinary team of urologic surgeons, pediatric nephrologists and nurses. We offer the most up-to-date minimally invasive treatments and prevention programs. For questions about our clinic and team, please contact Paula Wagner, at 916-734-8482.

 Paula Wagner, N.P.  Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic
Eric A. Kurzrock, M.D. Professor of Urology and Pediatrics,
Chief Pediatric Urologic Surgery
Roger Low, M.D. Professor of Urology, Chief Endourologic Surgery
Jennifer Yang, M.D. Assistant Professor of Urology
Paula Wagner, N.P. Family Nurse Practitioner, Specialist Urology
Lavjay Butani, M.D.

Professor and Chief of Pediatric Nephrology

Maha Haddad, M.D. Associate Professor of Pediatric Nephrology
Stephanie Nguyen, M.D. Assistant Professor of Pediatric Nephrology

The Nephrology Clinic also cares for numerous patients with other diseases such as lupus (also known as SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) because that disease often affects the kidneys. Lupus, which can emerge in puberty, predominantly affects teenage girls.

The diagnostic and therapeutic services performed by our nephrology staff include:

  • Peritoneal dialysis 
  • Hemodialysis
  • Continuous dialysis (also called CRRT or CVVH)
  • Renal biopsy
  • Evaluations and treatments for disorders including nephrotic syndrome, high blood pressure, kidney infections, hydronephrosis and kidney stones
  • Renal transplantation

In addition to serving UC Davis Children's Hospital clinical patients, our nephrologists are widely sought for consultation services by family practitioners who have patients with kidney disease. Our team also provides consultation services to hospitals in the entire Sacramento area, Northern California, Southern Oregon and parts of Nevada.