A pelvic kidney is a normal kidney located in the pelvis, instead of the abdomen. This occurs when a kidney does not ascend from its original location in the pelvis to its final location during fetal development. Typically, the kidney functions normally despite being in the wrong location. Often a person with a pelvic kidney will go through their whole life not even knowing they have this condition, unless it is discovered on newborn kidney ultrasound screening or if complications arise later in life for this or a completely different reason, and during investigations the condition is diagnosed. It is not a harmful condition generally, but can develop complications.
In the development of the human embryo, the metanephric kidneys fail to ascend and usually remain at the brim of the pelvis. This clinical scenario may present no signs or symptoms and the kidneys may function normally. It is associated at times with Mullerian dysgenesis.