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J Pediatr Urol. 2008 Feb;4(1):2-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2007.03.001. Epub 2007 Apr 27.

Congenital urological anomalies diagnosed in adulthood - management considerations.

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  • 1Pediatric Urology Service, The Department of Urology and Pediatrics, Rambam Medical Center and The Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israeli Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.



Despite worldwide availability of prenatal ultrasound, many patients are diagnosed in adult life with congenital anomalies such as ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO), undescended testicle (UDT), ureterocele, hypospadias, vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and primary obstructing megaureter (POM). The aim of this review was to describe these clinical conditions and their suggested management based on the available medical literature.


Adult UPJO is not a rare condition; symptomatic patients should be treated rather than observed. Treatment options are nephrectomy for non-functioning kidneys and reconstructive surgery for functioning renal units. The adult UDT has low fertility potential and increased cancer risk; hence most of the data in the literature indicate performing an orchiectomy. Adult ureteroceles are usually related to single systems and they are intravesical and less obstructive. For symptomatic patients endoscopic incision showed high efficacy for symptom elimination with minimal side effects. Primary hypospadias correction in the adult patient is feasible, but success rates are low compared to the pediatric age group. Secondary correction, whether primary correction was performed in childhood or adulthood, is a challenging task with a high complication rate. Treatment decisions regarding adult patients with VUR are difficult to make as the available data are inconsistent; there is no strict evidence that reflux in an adult is directly related to renal growth impairment, ascending pyelonephritis, and/or embryo loss in a pregnant woman. In contrast to the pediatric age group, adult POM is usually a symptomatic condition and related to a high complication rate including infections, stone formation and renal failure. Spontaneous resolution is rare and hence active surgical management is advocated.


Congenital urological anomalies identified in adulthood are not rare and pose a management challenge to the urologist. For most of the reviewed diseases, evidence-based management direction is difficult due to a lack of randomized trials and long-term follow up.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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