Pediatric Obstructive Uropathy

Pediatric Obstructive Uropathy

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Summary

Obstructive uropathy is a condition that causes a blockage in the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

Expanded overview

When the flow of urine is blocked in the bladder, ureter or urethra, it is called obstructive uropathy. Normally, your child’s urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through the ureter. Obstructive uropathy causes the urine to reflux, or flow backward, into the kidneys. This condition can happen in a child of any age and can even affect an unborn child in their mother’s womb.

Obstructive uropathy can affect one or both of your child’s kidneys and symptoms may occur suddenly, or happen gradually over time. When urine backs up into the kidneys, it can lead to hydronephrosis (swelling in the kidneys) and damage to the kidneys.

Causes

Obstructive uropathy may be caused by:

  • Bladder stones
  • Blood clots
  • Cancer (especially bladder, cervical, uterine and colon cancer)
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Kidney stones 
  • Medicines used to control bladder function
  • Nerve problems in the bladder
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Pelvic injury
  • Problems with the digestive tract
  • Scar tissue inside or outside the ureters

Symptoms

The symptoms of obstructive uropathy in children may include:

During pregnancy, lower than normal levels of amniotic fluid may be a sign of obstructive uropathy in the unborn child.

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