Medullary Sponge Kidney
Medullary sponge kidney (MSK) is a congenital disorder of the tubules or tiny tubes in the kidneys. With normal kidneys, urine flows smoothly through the small tubes as it is being formed.
Though, with medullary sponge kidney (MSK), cysts get formed inside the kidney (medulla) while creating a sponge-like appearance. These cysts bar the urine from flowing.
Causes of Medullary Sponge Kidney
Causes of medullary sponge kidney are not yet clear because the disorder is generally present from birth. Though, most reported cases depicts that the condition is not hereditary.
Medullary sponge kidney (MSK) can cause many problems ranging from kidney stones, bloody urine, urinary tract infections, total kidney failure, to hematuria.
These types of problems begin to appear between ages 30 to 40, and affect 1 person per 5,000 – 20,000 and research shows that about 20% of patients with kidney stones also suffer from medullary sponge kidney (MSK).
Diagnosis of Medullary sponge kidney
If you suffer from repeated kidney stones or urinary tract infections, your doctor will perform a type of X-ray called the Intravenous pyelogram (IVP). In this procedure, it involves a dye injected into a vein, and travels through the bloodstream to the kidneys. Once it reaches the urinary tract, it makes the urine visible and shows any blockage.
Symptoms of Medullary sponge kidney
Most people who are suffering with medullary sponge kidney do not experience any kind of symptoms. Though, the initial sign of medullary sponge kidney (MSK) is generally a kidney stone or urinary tract infection.
These conditions have same types of symptoms like burning or painful urination, foul-smelling urine, cloudy-dark or bloody urine, vomiting, fevers and chills, and pain in the lower abdomen, back and the groin.
Treatment of Medullary sponge kidney
There is still no treatment available to get rid of cysts. Though, once your doctor is certain you have medullary sponge kidney (MSK), he or she may advise treatment for existing urinary tract infections, removing any kidney stones, and preventing future formation of kidney stone and urinary tract infections.
If you are having kidney stones, then they may be extracted through a procedure called lithotripsy. It is a procedure that involves sound waves to break kidney stones into small particles that resemble sand particles, which are then passed during urination.
Kidney stones can also be extracted through inserting a thin tube called ureteroscope, which help catch and retrieve the stones.
In the case of a urinary tract infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, which help kill bacteria. If suffering from medullary sponge kidney, you will be required to take low-doses of antibiotics to prevent recurring urinary tract infections.