Unilateral hydronephrosis: Overview, Causes

Definition

Unilateral hydronephrosis is swelling of one kidney due to a backup of urine.

See also:  Bilateral hydronephrosis

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Hydronephrosis is a condition that occurs with a disease. It is not a disease itself. Conditions that are often associated with unilateral hydronephrosis include:

  • Acute unilateral obstructive uropathy
  • Chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy
  • Vesicoureteric reflux (backflow of urine from bladder to kidney)
  • Nephrolithiasis (kidney stones)
  • Hydronephrosis that occurs without a known cause during pregnancy

Unilateral hydronephrosis occurs in approximately 1 in 100 people.

Pictures & Images

Female urinary tract

The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

Male urinary tract

Male urinary tractThe male and female urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.


Review Date : 3/22/2010
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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