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Chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy
Alternative namesUreteral obstruction - chronic; Obstructive uropathy - unilateral - chronic
Urine is drained from the kidneys through tubes called ureters. Obstructive uropathy occurs when a one or both ureters becomes blocked; the condition may be acute or chronic .
Chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy involves a slow, progressive blockage of one ureter, resulting in a backup of urine and injury to the kidney.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Unilateral obstructive uropathy occurs when urine cannot drain through a ureter because of an obstruction, often ureteral or kidney stones. Urine backs up into the kidney and causes distention of the renal pelvis and calyces ( hydronephrosis ).
Signs and tests
An examination of the abdomen reveals an enlarged kidney. Blood pressure may be elevated. A urinalysis may reveal blood in the urine . A urine culture may reveal an infection.
Treatment focuses on eliminating or minimizing the obstruction.
The outcome varies. Kidney damage may be permanent. However, if the cause of the obstruction is diagnosed and treated early, the damage may be temporary. If only one kidney is involved, the other kidney usually continues to function adequately and renal insufficiency or renal failure does not occur.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if flank pain or other symptoms of chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy develops.
If you are prone to kidney stones , drink plenty of water (6 to 8 glasses per day) to reduce the chances of their formation.
Research suggests that a diet low in sodium and oxalate and high in citrate significantly reduces risk of calcium-based kidney stone formation. Consult with a nutritionist for more information on such diets.
Urinary tract infections should be treated promptly and thoroughly.
Seek medical attention if kidney stones persist or recur to identify the cause and to prevent new stones from forming.
Update Date: 5/25/2002Young Kang, M.D., Department of Urology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT