Observation of infants with SFU Grades 3-4 hydronephrosis: Worsening drainage with serial diuresis renography indicates surgical intervention and helps prevent loss of renal function

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Pediatric Urology








Purpose: Early pyeloplasty is indicated for ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ) obstructions with reduced differential renal function (DRF) and/or no drainage on diuretic renography (DR). Optimal management of Society of Fetal Urology (SFU) Grades 3 and 4hydronephrosis with preservation of DRF and indeterminate drainage is less straightforward. We review our experience using serial DR to guide the management of kidneys with high-grade hydronephrosis, emphasizing preservation of DRF. Methods: After IRB approval we reviewed the charts of 1398 patients <1-year-old referred for prenatal hydronephrosis. Only patients with SFU Grades 3 and 4 hydronephrosis without ureterectasis were included in the study. Initial evaluation included a baseline DR. Follow-up included DR or ultrasound (US). Results: 115 patients (125 kidneys) were eligible for study inclusion. 27 kidneys underwent early surgery (median 64 days) due to reduced DRF and/or severely impaired drainage. 98 kidneys were initially observed. Of these, 21 underwent delayed surgery (median 487 days) due to worsening drainage. Only 2 patients had an irreversible decrease in DRF of >5%. 77 kidneys demonstrated improved drainage and stable DRF. Comparison of observation (n = 77) and surgery groups (n = 48) revealed more kidneys with SFU Grade 3 hydronephrosis in the observation group (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: Infants with Grades 3 and 4 hydronephrosis and preserved DRF may be safely followed with serial DR. Patients with SFU Grade 4 hydronephosis are more likely to require surgery. Worsening drainage on serial DR is a useful indicator for surgical intervention which limits the number of pyeloplasties while preserving DRF. © 2011 Journal of Pediatric Urology Company. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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