Pediatric Kidney Conditions | Pediatrics


Pediatric Kidney Conditions

Our nationally ranked Pediatric Nephrology Program is the only one of its kind in the region. We provide advanced care, including kidney (renal) transplants and specialized outpatient dialysis, for all types of childhood kidney disease.

Medically reviewed by Lavjay Butani, M.D. on June 27, 2023.

A young girl running to a provider in scrubs

Exceptional Care for Children’s Kidney Conditions

If your child has kidney disease or a urinary condition, you can trust the highly trained specialists at UC Davis Health. Our experts (pediatric nephrologists) provide the most advanced care for all types of childhood kidney disease and are widely sought out for their expertise. Families come to us because they know we provide specialized treatments that are not widely available elsewhere.

Our nephrologists provide care for hypertension, urinary tract infections, and lupus, among other related conditions in children. And we're the only team in the region that performs pediatric kidney transplants. Our unique services feature outpatient dialysis for children of all ages — including those under age 10.


What Is Childhood Renal (Kidney) Disease?

Your child’s kidneys are two fist-sized organs that sit just below their ribcage on either side of their spine. These vital organs remove waste products from blood, balance fluids and release certain hormones.

Kidney disease means one or both of your child’s kidneys can’t filter the blood the way they should. Left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including mineral imbalances, heart disease, growth problems, and infections.

Types of Kidney Disease in Children

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

AKI is a sudden decrease in how well your child’s kidney works. This is usually due to a health issue such as sepsis (life-threatening immune response to infection), autoimmune conditions or exposure to toxic (poisonous) substances. Without treatment, AKI can cause serious complications. 

Long-term (Chronic) Kidney Disease (CKD)

CKD in children occurs over months or years, with symptoms ranging from none to behavioral issues to serious heart problems. Some children with CKD will need dialysis or a kidney transplant. With the right care, children with this condition can live a full, active life.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones form when minerals and salts build up in your child's urine. If they become too large, they can get stuck in your child’s urinary tract and cause pain or bleeding. A skilled pediatric urology team can remove kidney stones or break them up into smaller pieces using minimally invasive (fewer incisions) procedures. 

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

PKD is a condition passed down in families (inherited) that leads to fluid-filled cysts form in your child’s kidneys. These cysts can cause pain and interfere with how your child's kidneys work. Early testing and treatment can control the growth of cysts and help delay or prevent kidney failure.


Our Pediatric Nephrology Services and Clinics

Your child deserves care that is fully tailored to their unique needs. At UC Davis Health, our experts use a team-based, focused approach to provide exceptional care. We aim to give you and your child the best possible outcomes.

Our services include:

Advanced, Convenient Care

Our team assesses and treats all types of childhood kidney damage and disease. We track your child’s treatment progress with state-of-the-art imaging services, including CT and MRI. And we make care convenient by offering telemedicine options whenever your child doesn’t need to see us in-person.

Pediatric Renal Transplant Program

A kidney transplant is a lifesaving procedure for children with kidney failure — and we appreciate that it’s a major step to take. Our Transplant Center is recognized among the best in the nation because we have low rates of organ rejection and infection. We provide comfort, guidance and support at every step to make the process easier on you and your child.

Pediatric Dialysis

Children with the most critical needs receive continuous hemodialysis in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. And we believe even the smallest children awaiting transplant can often receive safe dialysis at home. That’s why we provide home-based peritoneal dialysis for children of all ages. Unlike hemodialysis, which filters blood outside the body, this type — unlike any other in the region — safely filters blood inside the body through a tube in your child's abdomen. We bring vital care to your child, where they need it.

Pediatric Kidney Stone Care

Children’s kidney stones require a treatment approach very different from adult care. Nephrologists at our Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic use advanced testing and analysis to find the cause of first-time stones in children. They also partner with specially trained urinary tract experts (endourologists) and dietitians on ways to help your child prevent future stones.

Request an Appointment

As Sacramento's No. 1 hospital, you'll benefit from unique advantages in primary care and specialty care. This includes prevention, diagnosis and treatment options from experts in 150 specialties.

Referring Physicians

To refer a patient, you can submit an electronic referral form or call.



For questions and appointment information

Awards and Recognitions
USNWR Best Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best hospital in cancer, cardiology, heart & vascular surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, ENT, geriatrics, neurology & neurosurgery, obstetrics & gynecology, and pulmonology & lung surgery.

Learn more
US News & World Report best Children’s Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best children’s hospital in diabetes & endocrinology, nephrology, and orthopedics*. (*Together with Shriners Children’s)

Learn more
USNWR best regional hospital badge

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital by U.S. News, and high-performing in COPD, colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, hip fracture, hip replacement, kidney failure, leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma, lung cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery, pneumonia, prostate cancer surgery, stroke, TAVR, uterine cancer surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery, and orthopedics.

Learn more
Magnet designation badge

The nation’s highest nursing honor

UC Davis Medical Center has received Magnet® recognition, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence.

Learn more
Chime acute badge

“Most Wired” for acute care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

Learn more
Chime ambulatory badge

“Most Wired” for ambulatory care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

Learn more
NCI badge

World-class cancer care

One of ~56 U.S. cancer centers designated “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute.

Learn more

A leader in health care equality

For the 11th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality.”

Learn more
See more