Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction
A ureteropelvic junction obstruction refers to a blockage of urine transfer which is caused when the renal pelvis and ureter are blocked. This is most often seen in children and needs immediate and expert medical care for effective treatment.
Normally, kidneys produce urine as they filter the blood and remove waste products, salt and water from it. The urine is then passed out of the kidneys to the urinary system. There is a funnel-shaped structure called the renal pelvis which collects the urine from the kidney before passing it on to the ureter (tube-like structure for passing out urine from the body). For the kidneys to function normally there has to be at least one perfectly working ureter in each kidney for efficiently carrying the urine from the kidney to the bladder.
Let us understand some important points about ureteropelvic junction obstruction.
What is ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction?
Ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction is commonly caused in children as a congenital development (birth defect). The obstruction occurs at the point where the renal pelvis meets the ureter – called the Ureteropelvic junction (or UPJ). Although this is a considerably rare condition, it causes development of obstruction in the urine system in the prenatal stage.
As a result of UPJ, the kidney tends to produce excessive amounts of urine, which is enable to efficiently drain out of the renal pelvis and into the ureter. This causes the excess urine to get collected in the kidney (called ‘hydronephrosis’) and lead to other complications.
What are the symptoms of ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction?
As UPJ (ureteropelvic junction) obstruction is a prenatal condition mainly, it is difficult to observe visible symptoms. Hence, ultrasound is the best option to check and diagnose for UPJ obstruction before child birth.
In other cases, these are the symptoms that are usually seen as a result of UPJ obstruction:
Urinary infection accompanied with fever
Pain in flanks when fluid intake in increased
Blood in urine
Pain without infection
Sporadic bouts of pain