A Brazilian man with a slipped disk visited a doctor at a hospital in São Paulo, only to find out that he has one extra kidney inside his body. The 38-year-old man found out about the rare medical condition after he complained of having a persisting low-back pain. The doctors conducted a CT scan to evaluate the affected area and discovered that the man had an unusual anatomical feature.
The doctors found that the man had a slipped disk, a condition in which part of a cushion-like disk between the spinal vertebrae moves out of place. Besides that, two kidneys were fused on the right-hand side of the body, near the pelvis and a normal-looking kidney on his left side, that was in its proper place. It bewildered the doctors at the hospital as the CT scan showed that the man had three kidneys instead of two like a typical human.
According to a report of the case published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on Wednesday, the man did not show any symptoms of kidney problems and all his three kidneys are functioning normally.
"Usually, each kidney is connected to the bladder through a single duct called a ureter. In the man's case, one of the kidneys, over the pelvis, was directly connected to the bladder via a ureter. However, the ureter of the other pelvis kidney joined the ureter of the normal, left-side kidney before it entered the bladder," said the report.
The man didn't need any medical attention for his extra kidney. But he did receive oral painkillers for his back pain, the report said.
Having three kidneys at the same time is a very rare condition, with so far less than 100 such cases having been reported in medical literature, according to a report of a similar case published in The Internet Journal of Radiology in 2013.
It is believed that the condition arises during embryonic development when a structure that typically forms a single kidney splits in two.
Usually, people aren't aware of this condition as it doesn't cause any symptoms. They discover it by accident through unrelated medical tests.