Genetic kidney diseases (GKDs) are an important and well-known entity in pediatric nephrology. Advances in genetic and molecular approaches in the last 15 years have enabled elucidation of the underlying molecular defects in many of these disorders. Herein, the authors summarize the progress that has been made over this period in disclosing the molecular basis of several novel GKDs which were characterized in this area and include Bartter syndrome type IV, type II Bartter syndrome and transient neonatal hyperkalemia, cystinuria and mental retardation, familial hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia, infantile nephronophthisis and familial hemolytic uremic syndrome with factor H deficiency. Retrospective analysis of the authors' data reveals that GKDs are over-represented among the pediatric population in southern Israel. GKD are seen 4 times more often than end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and comprise 38% of all cases of ESRD in our area. This high rate of GKD is mainly due to the high frequency of consanguineous marriages that prevails in this area. Understanding of the genetic and molecular background of these diseases is a result of a fruitful collaboration between the pediatric nephrologists and scientists, and has a direct implication on the diagnosis and treatment of the affected families.
|Published - Mar 2010