Children's Hospital Colorado

Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and Urinary Tract (CAKUT)

What is CAKUT?

CAKUT stands for "congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract." Congenital means that the condition exists at birth. The acronym describes a group of anomalies (abnormalities) affecting the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract, which consist of the ureter, bladder and urethra. The ureters are tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder and the urethra is the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to outside of the body.

Common conditions that fall under the CAKUT group include:

What causes CAKUT?

CAKUT is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors that affect the formation and development of the kidneys and urinary tract prenatally (during pregnancy).

Who gets CAKUT?

CAKUT is one of the most common groups of anomalies diagnosed in newborns with about 45 infants affected in every 10,000 births. CAKUT is more common in boys and more often occurs in children born to mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus. CAKUT accounts for about 35% of cases of end-stage kidney disease in children, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), that require kidney transplantation.