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Contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography in the assessment of vesical-ureteral reflux: the time has come

  • Abdominal Radiology
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Abstract

Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is a pathological condition contradistinguished by monolateral or bilateral retrograde flow of urine from the bladder to the ureter and to the kidney. If not properly recognized and treated, VUR can potentially be associated to several complications such as recurrent infections and possible secondary scars with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Furthermore, it represents an important risk factor for nephrovascular hypertension. During the last 20 years, the diagnostic approach to this entity has passed through several, drastic changes: indeed, since its introduction in 1994 contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography (ceVUS) has gradually accompanied the voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) as alternative imaging technique for the diagnosis and staging of VUR. Despite a large number of papers has strongly encouraged its use in clinical practice, due to the lack of ionizing radiations and its high sensitivity rate, to date almost all the guidelines only include the VCUG for VUR diagnosis. The introduction of technologically advanced US software and the approval of the intravesical administration of ultrasound contrast agents by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) have to induce the Scientific Community to a deep revaluation of the role of ceVUS in the diagnosis and follow-up of VUR: urosonography might extensively replace VCUG as the reference method, reserving to cystourethrography a role in the most complex anatomic settings for pre-surgical evaluation.

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Correspondence to Antonino Cattafi.

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Sofia, C., Solazzo, A., Cattafi, A. et al. Contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography in the assessment of vesical-ureteral reflux: the time has come. Radiol med 126, 901–909 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11547-021-01360-w

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