SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Swollen kidney. Coloured X-ray of the abdomen of a young boy with a swollen left kidney (top right) due to hydronephrosis. The bladder is at bottom centre. The renal pelvis (highlighted in red) of the left kidney has become swollen with urine due to an obstruction in the urinary tract. The obstruction may be due to kidney stones, kidney disease, a deformity in the ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder), or a mass pressing on the ureter. If left untreated the pressure can damage the kidney tissue, ultimately leading to kidney failure. Treatment is of the underlying cause.
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