Extrinsic Obstruction of the Ureter
The ureter is a thick and long tube which connects the kidneys to the bladder. It is normally around 10 inches long with the upper half in the abdomen while the lower portion lies in the pelvic region.
At times, this ureter can get obstructed and result in a condition called the extrinsic obstruction of the ureter.
What is extrinsic obstruction of the ureter?
Extrinsic obstruction of the ureter is caused when the organs gets diseased and press against the ureter, creating a blockage in the ureter. This, in turn, affects the normal drainage and flow of urine from the kidney into the bladder. The accumulation of urine in the ureter can also result in injury to the kidney.
What causes extrinsic obstruction of the ureter?
There are several causes that lead to extrinsic obstruction of the ureter, such as:
Benign female reproductive system disorders (mass uterine or ovarian lesions, pregnancy complications, endometriosis, intra-operative ureteral injury, Gartner’s duct cyst, etc)
Gastrointestinal tract diseases (Crohn’s disease of the bowel, inflammatory appendix disorder, pancreatic lesions, etc)
What are the signs and symptoms of extrinsic obstruction of the ureter?
Mostly, the progress of the disorder is slow and symptoms develop late. In case the obstruction is acute there will be significant pain.
Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever, urinating problems, bloody or cloudy urine, etc.
What are the diagnostic tests for extrinsic obstruction of the ureter?
Extrinsic obstruction of the ureter is one of those commonly seen disorders where the diagnosis can be difficult sometimes. This requires using imaging diagnostic tests to establish correct diagnosis.
Diagnostic imaging tests for detecting extrinsic obstruction of the ureter may include:
IVP (intravenous urography)
CT (computerized tomography) scans
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) tests