Rate and predictors of spontaneous resolution of prenatally diagnosed primary nonrefluxing megaureter

Dawn L. McLELLAN, Alan B. Retik, Stuart B. Bauer, David A. Diamond, Anthony Atala, James Mandell, Robert L. Lebowitz, Joseph G. Borer, Craig A Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Purpose: We assessed clinical and ultrasound predictors of the spontaneous resolution of prenatally diagnosed, primary nonrefluxing megaureter. Materials and Methods: Primary nonrefluxing megaureter was prenatally diagnosed in 54 neonates from 1993 to 1998, including 15 in whom it was bilateral (69 megaureters). Median followup period from birth to the last radiology examination was 25.8 months (range 2.3 to 72). Results: Of the patients 10 underwent surgical repair for severe hydroureteronephrosis, including decreasing renal function on diuretic renography in 1, and an episode of bilateral obstruction and acute renal failure in 1. Hydroureteronephrosis resolved in 39 cases (72%) and persisted in 5 at 30 to 72 months of followup. Laterality, gender and retrovesical ureteral diameter had no significant effect on the resolution rate (p > 0.05). Mean initial ureteral diameter in patients with resolution was less than in those without resolution and in those who underwent surgery (0.8 versus 1.15 and 1.32 cm., respectively). Presenting hydronephrosis grade was a significant predictor of the resolution rate (p = 0.03). Grades 1 to 3 hydronephrosis resolved at a median age of 12.9, 23.9 and 34.6 months, respectively (range 4.1 to 66). In patients in whom grades 4 and 5 hydronephrosis resolved the median age at resolution was 48.5 months. Conclusions: Most cases of prenatally diagnosed, primary nonrefluxing megaureter resolve spontaneously. Grades 1 to 3 hydronephrosis tend to resolve between ages 12 and 36 months. For these grades followup intervals may be progressively elongated after a pattern of improving hydronephrosis has been established. In children with grade 4 or 5 hydronephrosis, or a retrovesical ureteral diameter of greater than 1 cm. the condition may resolve slowly and require surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2177-2180
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Abnormalities
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Ureter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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