Hydronephrosis is a term describing dilatation of the urinary collecting system in the kidney. It is not normally dilated per se, though can become so when the internal pressure rises due to the urine flows being impaired between the kidney and bladder, or between the bladder and the outside.

Who is Affected?

This condition can affect anybody at any age, and has various underlying causes. It is however commonly detected in prenatal ultrasound scanning, and is the most common abnormality found. It is estimated that a dilated kidney is discovered in up to 1 in 150 pregnancies. In the majority, this may transpire to be benign and transient, but it is the rationlisation of the hydronephrosis, the identification of the diagnosis and the individuals requiring treatment, necessitating the assistance of a Paediatric Urologist.

How is it Diagnosed?

Children with hydronephrosis are diagnosed usually with ultrasound scanning. In older children, hydronephrosis may be associated with pain in the kidney or other symptoms such as urinary tract infection.

What is the Treatment?

The treatment of hydronephrosis depends upon the underlying cause (‘infra’).