, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1253-1259
Date: 16 Jul 2005

Postnatal management of infants with antenatally detected hydronephrosis

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Abstract

With the increasing use of antenatal sonography, fetal hydronephrosis has been reported more frequently. Because of the lack of consensus regarding treatment of these infants, the postnatal approach toward fetal renal pelvis enlargement remains controversial. The aim of this prospective study is to demonstrate the postnatal investigation, treatment, and outcome of infants with prenatally diagnosed hydronephrosis. Infants whose antenatal ultrasound scan showed a fetal renal pelvis of 5 mm or greater were investigated postnatally using ultrasound (US) and voiding cystourethrography. When indicated, isotope studies and intravenous urograms were also performed. We followed prospectively neonates with antenatally diagnosed hydronephrosis and recommended management guidelines on the basis of our findings. In 156 neonates (193 kidney units) that were found to have hydronephrosis, the average gestational age at which the diagnosis was made was 32.94±5.10 weeks. The mean duration of postnatal follow-up was 26.3±13.56 months (range 3–60 months). The mean APPD of the fetal renal pelvis was 10.35±3.24 mm (5–9 mm in 84 kidneys, 10–14 mm in 96 kidneys and ≥15 mm in 13 kidneys). Of the 193 kidney units, 145 units were found to be pathological. The most common detected underlying abnormalities were ureteropelvic junction obstruction (in 91 kidneys; 62.7%) and vesicoureteral reflux (in 24 kidneys; 16.6%). Postnatally, 23 (45%) of 51 patients whose first US was normal were diagnosed postnatally as having urinary tract abnormality. There was a negative correlation between APPD and the rate of spontaneous resolution and positive correlation between APPD and the rate of surgery (P<0.01). In conclusion, because it is not possible to determine an upper limit of normal for the antenatal renal pelvis, any baby with AH should not be considered clinically insignificant. Infants with antenatal renal pelvis measurements ≥5 mm should be investigated postnatally. A normal postnatal ultrasound scan does not preclude the presence of urinary tract abnormality.