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Three questions for the Ericsson family

Docent Maria Herthelius and her team at the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC) received in 2017 a donation from the Ericsson family for infant hydronephrosis research.

Hydronephrosis is a condition that occurs when more urine than normal accumulates in one or both kidneys, and is found in approximately 1% of all fetuses. Thanks to the Ericsson family’s generous donation, Dr Herthelius and her group can try to identify early indicators of increased risk of urinary tract infection and/or kidney damage in babies born with hydronephrosis. Eventually, this could make it possible for doctors to identify which neonates are in need of monitoring so that they can be given the best possible treatment.

It means a great deal to the Ericsson family to contribute to infant hydronephrosis research, an area that has been largely neglected by the scientific community.

Why this interest in medical research?

“We’ve had close dealings with hospitals for many years since a member of the family was diagnosed with hydronephrosis and we felt that we wanted to contribute something to research on the disease.”

What do you hope your contribution will achieve?

“That more attention is given to kidney research in general and, specifically, that this project will help prevent the ‘unnecessary’ use of antibiotics. We also hope it will give affected families more peace of mind.”

What does it mean to you?

“It means a lot to be able to contribute to research on a condition that’s otherwise relatively overlooked, despite the number of people affected by it. It’ll be interesting to read about Maria’s research and we wish her the best of luck!”

Maria Herthelius på mottagningen foto: Jonas EkwallMaria Herthelius is a docent of paediatrics and a paediatrician at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital (Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge) specialising in children with urinary tract symptoms. Much of her research focuses on urinary tract function, or lack thereof, and the risk of urinary tract infection and kidney damage in healthy children and children with chronic kidney disease or kidney transplants.

“The donation has enabled me to obtain, in a methodical and correct way, answers to questions that are important not only to me and my patients but also to children and parents around the world,” explains Dr Herthelius. “Hopefully our research will give parents some reassurance and spare babies with congenital hydronephrosis distressing medical examinations.”

Text: Stina Branting