What is MSK

Medullary sponge kidney (also known as Cacchi–Ricci disease) is a congenital disorder of the kidneys characterized by cystic dilatation of the collecting tubules in one or both kidneys.

Medullary sponge kidney as seen on an intravenous pyelogram

what-is-mskIndividuals with medullary sponge kidney are at increased risk for kidney stones and urinary tract infection.

Patients with MSK typically pass twice as many stones per year as do other stone formers without MSK. While described as a “benign” disorder with a low morbidity rate, as many as 10% of patients with MSK have an increased risk of morbidity associated with frequent stones and UTIs. While some patients report increased chronic kidney pain, the source of the pain, when a UTI or blockage is not present, is unclear at this time. Renal colic (flank and back pain) is present in 55% of patients.

Women with MSK experience more stones, UTIs and complications than men. MSK is generally non-hereditary.