How to Say It: hi-dro neff-ro-sis
Hydronephrosis is a backup of urine in one or both kidneys. This leads to swelling and pressure. It needs care right away.
This problem happens when urine cannot drain from the kidney to the bladder. It may be caused by a blockage from:
Urinary Tract Blocked By a Stone
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Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Some people do not have symptoms. Those who do may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may need to see a doctor who treats kidney diseases.
Blood and urine tests will be done to look for problems with how the kidneys are working.
Images of the kidneys may be taken. This can be done with:
A cystoscopy may also be done. It uses a lighted scope to view the bladder.
Other tests will be done to find a cause.
The cause will need to be treated. This will allow urine to flow as it should. Some options are:
The risk may be lowered by managing health problems that can harm the kidneys.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Hydronephrosis. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15417-hydronephrosis. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Hydronephrosis. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hydronephrosis. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Hydronephrosis. NHS Choices website. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hydronephrosis. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Nephrolithiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nephrolithiasis-in-adults-24. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Nuraj, P and Hyseni, N. The diagnosis of obstructive hydronephrosis with color doppler ultrasound. Acta Inform Med. 2017 Sep; 25(3): 178–181.
Obstructive uropathy. Merck Manual Professional Version website. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/obstructive-uropathy/obstructive-uropathy. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 12/30/2020