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J Urol. 2005 Oct;174(4 Pt 2):1652-5; discussion 1655-6.

Indications for nonoperative management of ureteroceles.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Urology, Children's National Medical Center and Department of Urology, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA.



Ureteroceles have traditionally been managed surgically. We report our indications and outcomes of nonoperative management of ureteroceles in a select cohort.


We identified prospectively for nonoperative management 11 females and 2 males with ureteroceles associated with hydronephrosis or multicystic dysplasia (MCD). Patients presented with either a febrile urinary tract infection (3) or prenatal hydronephrosis (10). All patients were evaluated with renal and bladder ultrasound, voiding cystourethrography and mercaptoacetyltriglycine-3 furosemide renography. Two subgroups were identified, consisting of 10 duplex system upper pole ureteroceles associated with nonobstructed functional systems and 3 ureteroceles associated with a completely nonfunctional single system (2) or duplex (1) kidneys with or without MCD. Median followup was 41 months (range 13 months to 8 years).


Of the 13 patients 9 required no surgical intervention. Of these 9 patients 3 had either a nonfunctional upper pole moiety (1) or MCD (2) that involuted, and 6 had good function of the upper pole segments relative to the lower pole without high grade obstruction on furosemide renography. Mean upper pole relative to lower pole differential function as determined by isotope renogram in these 6 patients was 40.8% (range 28% to 65%) and median drainage half-time was 5.3 minutes (4.5 to 19.3). On sonography, hydronephrosis improved in all 6 cases, with 5 (83%) decreasing to grade 0 (3) or I (2). Of these 6 cases of duplex system ureteroceles 5 had associated ipsilateral lower pole reflux of grade III (2) or IV (3). Reflux resolved in all cases. Surgery was necessary for progressive obstruction 1 patient and for breakthrough urinary tract infection in 3. The mean upper pole differential function in the operative group of 24.3% was lower than that of the nonoperative group. The initial median drainage half-time was 12.5 minutes (range 6.9 to 20). There was no significant difference between the nonoperative and operative groups in regard to hydronephrosis grade, reflux grade or ureterocele size.


Furosemide renography can identify a select subgroup of patients with ureteroceles who are candidates for nonoperative management. Ureteroceles with nonobstructed duplex systems have better preservation of renal function and a high rate of natural resolution of hydronephrosis and reflux. Ureteroceles associated with MCD or completely nonfunctioning upper pole moieties may never require surgical management.

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