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Medullary Sponge Kidney


Enrica Fung

, MD, MPH, Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Apr 2021| Content last modified Apr 2021
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Medullary sponge kidney is an uncommon disorder in which the urine-containing tubules of the kidneys are dilated.

A doctor may suspect medullary sponge kidney based on the symptoms and results of imaging tests done for other reasons. Imaging tests of the kidneys reveal calcium deposits if there are any. The diagnosis is usually made by computed tomography Computed tomography There are a variety of tests that can be used in the evaluation of a suspected kidney or urinary tract disorder. (See also Overview of the Urinary Tract.) X-rays are usually not helpful in evaluating... read more (CT), usually showing calcium deposits and widened (dilated) urine-containing tubules in the kidneys.

Most people do well without treatment. Treatment may be necessary if infection develops or if medullary sponge kidney causes calcium to deposit and repeatedly form stones. Treatment for calcium stones is high fluid intake (more than 2 quarts [2 liters] per day) and a diet that is low in sodium, normal in calcium, and low to normal in protein. Sometimes doctors recommend people take a thiazide diuretic to reduce the amount of calcium that is excreted in their urine. Surgery may be needed if the urinary tract becomes blocked. Infections are treated with antibiotics.

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