Medullary sponge kidney, also known as Cacchi-Ricci disease, is a birth defect where changes occur in the tubules, or tiny tubes, inside a fetus’ kidneys.

In a normal kidney, urine flows through these tubules as the kidney is being formed during a fetus’ growth. In medullary sponge kidney, tiny, fluid-filled sacs called cysts form in the tubules within the medulla—the inner part of the kidney—creating a spongelike appearance. The cysts keep urine from flowing freely through the tubules.

Symptoms of medullary sponge kidney do not usually appear until the teenage years or the 20s. Medullary sponge kidney can affect one or both kidneys.


Complications of medullary sponge kidney include

  • hematuria, or blood in the urine
  • kidney stones
  • urinary tract infections (MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEYs)

Medullary sponge kidney rarely leads to more serious problems, such as chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.


Scientists do not fully understand the cause of medullary sponge kidney or why cysts form in the tubules during fetal development. Even though medullary sponge kidney is present at birth, most cases do not appear to be inherited.


Many people with medullary sponge kidney have no symptoms. The first sign that a person has medullary sponge kidney is usually a MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEY or a kidney stone. MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEYs and kidney stones share many of the same signs and symptoms:

  • burning or painful urination
  • pain in the back, lower abdomen, or groin
  • cloudy, dark, or bloody urine
  • foul-smelling urine
  • fever and chills
  • vomiting

People who experience these symptoms should see or call a health care provider as soon as possible.


Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

The following changes in diet may help prevent MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEYs and kidney stone formation:

  • Drinking plenty of water and other liquids can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract and dilute urine so kidney stones cannot form. A person should drink enough liquid to produce about 2 to 2.5 quarts of urine every day.3
  • Reducing sodium intake, mostly from salt, may help prevent kidney stones. Diets high in sodium can increase the excretion of calcium into the urine and thus increase the chance of calcium-containing kidney stones forming.
  • Foods rich in animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and fish can increase the chance of uric acid stones and calcium stones forming. People who form stones should limit their meat consumption to 6 to 8 ounces a day.4
  • People who are more likely to develop calcium oxalate stones should include 1,000 milligrams of calcium in their diet every day. Adults older than 50 years should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily.3Calcium in the digestive tract binds to oxalate from food and keeps it from entering the blood and the urinary tract, where it can form stones.

People with medullary sponge kidney should talk with their health care provider or a dietitian before making any dietary changes. A dietitian can help a person plan healthy meals.


APIS MELLIFICA—Apis mel is another top remedy for MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEY. There is frequent desire for urination or increase in the quantity of urine with burning/scalding/stinging pain and tenesmus during micturition.Urine is opaque and bloody.

CLEMATIS ERECTA --ClemetisErecta is very effective for MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEY in patients who have suffered from Sexual transmitted disesaes . It is indicated when the symptoms are – Frequent scanty urine with burning at the orifice of urethra. The patient has an unusual desire to pass urine, urine is passed drop by drop , dribbling of urine even after passing of urine.

SARSPARILLA -Sarsaparilla is effective for MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEY when the pain in the urethra is most marked when a person is almost done with passing urine. Along with this there is distension and tenderness over bladder. Urine is scanty, slimy and may contain sandy particles.

EQUISETUM —Equisetum is a near specific for MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEY. There is frequent and intolerable urge to urinate.Dull pain in the bladder is constantly present.There is a shrap cutting burning sensation in the urethra when urinating.Much pus and albumin in urine.

PAREIRA BRAVA -Pareira brava is very effective for MEDULLARY SPONGE KIDNEY. The leading symptoms are—constant urging to urinate, great straining. Pain down thighs during efforts to urinate. Urine is black, bloody with thick mucus. Urine is passed with great difficulty. In worst cases urine is passed only by going on hand and knees position.