DefinitionHydronephrosis is when one or both kidneys swell with backed up urine. This swelling can lead to kidney infection or kidney damage.Hydronephrosis is not a condition but a symptom of another condition.
|Urinary Tract System|
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CausesHydronephrosis is caused by urinary tract problems that makes it difficult for urine to leave the kidneys. Urine may be slowed or blocked by:
- An obstruction, bulge, or narrowing in the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder
- In boys, flaps of tissue obstructing the tube that carries urine out of the body or narrowing of the tip of the penis
- The backwards flow of urine from the bladder into the kidneys
- Problems with the tube that carries urine to the bladder or in the way that it connects
- Occasionally, an abnormal kidney
Risk FactorsHydronephrosis is more common in boys than girls.
SymptomsHydronephrosis may cause:
- Pain in the back, sides, abdomen, or groin
- Blood in the urine
- Trouble feeding
- Poor growth
- Symptoms of urinary tract infection
DiagnosisMost often hydronephrosis is diagnosed during pregnancy during a maternal ultrasound.After birth you will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may be able to feel the swollen kidney during the physical exam. Your child's bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
- Urine tests
- Blood tests
- Ultrasound—may be done before and/or after birth
- Voiding cystourethrogram—x-rays of the bladder and urethra taken during urination
- Note: This test is only done if there is hydronephrosis still present after birth.
- MRI scan
- CT scan
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