Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 949–953 | Cite as

Ultrasound mass screening for congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract

  • Vito Antonio Caiulo
  • Silvana Caiulo
  • Clara Gargasole
  • Giovanni Chiriacò
  • Giuseppe Latini
  • Luigi Cataldi
  • Giuseppe Mele
Original Article



There is a high incidence of congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract (CAKUT). Early diagnosis of these defects may allow the best medical and/or surgical treatment to be implemented as rapidly as possible, preventing or at least slowing down an evolution toward chronic kidney disease.


Ultrasound mass screening for kidney and urinary tract abnormalities in infants at 2 months of age was carried out in Salento, Italy. The centers involved in the study examined a total of 17,783 infants between January 1992 and December 2010.


A total of 171 CAKUT were identified in the course of the mass screening. The frequency of CAKUT was 0.96%. Vesicoureteral reflux (n = 39) was the most frequent renal abnormality found, followed by ureteropelvic junction obstruction (n = 33), ectopic kidney (n = 26), and renal dysplasia (n = 19). In addition, nephrogenic rests (n = 2), as well as several extra-renal pathologies, including abdominal neuroblastoma (n = 3), were diagnosed incidentally.


Ultrasound has been effective for early detection of renal and urinary tract anomalies. In addition, this screening has proved to be very useful for the early identification and management of both renal and extra-renal precancerous as well as cancerous lesions. However, most patients requiring surgery in this study (0.24%) would probably have been symptomatic and come to medical attention without routine screening. On the basis of our results screening is not justified.


Ultrasound urinary mass screening Congenital anomalies of the kidneys 


Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vito Antonio Caiulo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Silvana Caiulo
    • 3
  • Clara Gargasole
    • 4
  • Giovanni Chiriacò
    • 5
  • Giuseppe Latini
    • 2
    • 6
  • Luigi Cataldi
    • 1
    • 7
  • Giuseppe Mele
    • 8
  1. 1.Neonatal Nephrology Study Group, Italian Society of NeonatologyBrindisiItaly
  2. 2.Division of NeonatologyPerrino HospitalBrindisiItaly
  3. 3.School of MedicineSan Raffaele UniversityMilanItaly
  4. 4.School of Medicine, San Paolo HumanitasUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  5. 5.School of MedicineUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  6. 6.Clinical Physiology Institute (IFC-CNR), National Research Council of ItalyLecceItaly
  7. 7.Department of Pediatric, School of MedicineCatholic University of RomaRomaItaly
  8. 8.Italian Federation of PediatriciansLecceItaly

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