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Emerging Work on Boosting Nephron Number Could Aid Kidney Function Preservation in Preemies, Adults

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Advances in neonatal care are boosting survival rates of those born prematurely, but these survivors may later face kidney complications. New insights on how the kidney forms early in life and new tools to help monitor kidney development may one day help improve their health.

As the basic working units of the kidney, nephrons filter the blood, remove and eliminate urine, and help keep nutrients in the body. People have on average about 1 million nephrons per kidney, although the numbers may vary between individuals from 200,000 to about 2 million, said Marva Moxey-Mims, MD, chief of the division of