Children's Hospital Colorado

Bartter Syndrome in Children

What is Bartter syndrome?

Bartter syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects the kidneys, which remove waste and water from the blood to make urine (pee). It causes a child’s body to lose too many minerals — especially salt — in the urine.

There are several different kinds of Bartter syndrome. They are classified by which gene is causing the condition, the severity of the condition and the age of the child when symptoms start.

Bartter syndrome typically causes excessive urination and growth failure. It can also lead to other health problems caused by the imbalance of minerals. Some types cause calcium deposits in the kidneys that can lead to kidney stones.

What causes Bartter syndrome in children?

Genetic mutations are the cause of all types of Bartter syndrome. These mutations affect the kidneys' ability to control the balance of minerals in urine.

The two main types of Bartter syndrome are antenatal and classic. With antenatal varieties, signs of the condition are present before birth. Classic varieties present at different ages during childhood.

Who gets Bartter syndrome?

Anyone can have a gene mutation that causes Bartter syndrome, but the condition is rare. Sometimes doctors detect it at birth or even before birth, during prenatal care. In other cases, it goes undetected until later in childhood.