Journal Article
Systematic Review
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How effective is nephrectomy in curing hypertension in children with unilateral poorly functioning kidney? A systematic review.

PURPOSE: Some children with hypertension (HTN) have unilateral poorly functional kidney (PFK). This provides an opportunity for the clinician to cure the HTN by removal of the PFK, thereby avoiding the problems of long-term medication. However, there is sparse data in children regarding the effect of PFK nephrectomy on curing HTN. In this review, we analysed the etiology of PFK causing HTN and the effectiveness of nephrectomy in curing HTN in children.

METHODS: We searched the databases to identify papers between January 2000 to December 2020 pertaining to children with PFK and HTN who underwent nephrectomy. Outcome analyzed was the resolution of HTN following nephrectomy. Duplicate publications, review articles and incomplete articles were excluded. Meta-analysis of heterogeneity was reported with I2 statistics. Forest plot was constructed to compare the pooled prevalence of HTN resolution.

RESULTS: Five articles with 88 patients were included. Majority (43%) of PFK were due to the unilateral atrophic kidney with or without vesicoureteral reflux (VUR); ureteropelvic junction obstruction and multicystic dysplastic kidney together accounted for 35% of cases and renovascular pathology for 22% of cases. With a follow-up of 1.5 to 3.3 years, nephrectomy was effective to cure HTN in 65.9% (95% CI 55-75%) children.

CONCLUSIONS: In children with HTN and a unilateral PFK, nephrectomy cured the HTN in two-thirds of children. Unilateral atrophic kidney due to VUR was the most common cause of PFK. An increase in the utilisation of laparoscopy was observed in recent publications, hence laparoscopic nephrectomy may be considered a first choice of treatment in these children.

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