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Nephrology Research

Research that leads to results for kids with kidney conditions

Our researchers are investigating many different elements of kidney disease and putting their discoveries to work to help children and families.


Understanding chronic kidney disease in children: the CKiD study


Children’s Mercy, together with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, leads the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) study. The CKiD study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, began in 2003 and has contributed to an improved understanding of chronic kidney disease and its related diseases, such as anemia and hypertension. This in turn results in improved care for children and more comprehensive data for researchers.

More than 100 peer-reviewed research papers have been published using the data from the study. Kids who joined the study in its early years are already receiving improved care because of the knowledge we’ve gained from this type of long-term research.

For instance, researchers discovered that heart disease is a serious and dangerous side effect of chronic kidney disease. So nephrologists are now encouraged to add home blood pressure monitoring using cloud-based technology for their patients, in addition to regular blood-pressure monitoring in clinic.

CKiD is the largest study of its kind ever conducted in North America, with 54 pediatric centers currently participating in the project. With the recent additional funding from the NIH, more than 1,000 children will be participants in the study, which now will continue until 2023.


Kids and kidney stones

Dr. Uri Alon, Director of the Bone and Mineral Disorders Clinic at Children’s Mercy, is researching the causes behind the recent significant increase in the incidence of kidney stones in children. His team’s findings indicate that changes in nutrition, along with other surprising factors like lower fluid intake in areas most affected by global warming, may be the cause of the increase in kidney stones.


Genomic medicine

The nephrology team partners with the Genome Center to work towards a better understanding of the genetic causes of kidney disease.