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Alternative namesIdiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis; Ormond's disease
DefinitionRetroperitoneal fibrosis is a disorder in which the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder are blocked by a fibrous mass in the back of the abdomen.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare disorder caused by the proliferation of fibrous tissue in the area of the body behind the stomach. Doctors don't know why the masses form. It is most common in people aged 40-60, and men are twice as likely to be affected as women.
The disorder may cause chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy or chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy , which result when the fibrous mass blocks the ureters.The symptoms are caused by this obstruction of the ureters.
Signs and tests
Surgery to remove the mass and free the ureters may be required. In some cases, the ureters will be moved to a different position in the body or wrapped in fat tissue harvested from other areas to prevent recurrence of the fibrosis.
Some doctors use the drug tamoxifen to treat this condition.
Expectations (prognosis)Prognosis depends on the extent of the fibrosis and the amount of damage to the kidneys. The kidney damage may be temporary or permanent.
Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider if you experience lower abdomen or flank pain, particularly with decreased urine volume .
PreventionIf possible, avoid prolonged use of medications which contain methysergide, which has been shown to cause retroperitoneal fibrosis.
Update Date: 8/18/2003David Webner, M.D., Sports Medicine Fellow, Crozer-Keystone Family Practice Program, Springfield, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT