JOURNAL ARTICLE

Meaning of ureter dilatation during ultrasonography in infants for evaluating vesicoureteral reflux

Yae-won Park, Myung-Joon Kim, Sang Won Han, Dong Wook Kim, Mi-Jung Lee
European Journal of Radiology 2015, 84 (2): 307-11
25497867

PURPOSE: To investigate the meaning of ureter dilatation during ultrasonography (US) in infants for evaluating vesicoureteral reflux (VUR).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed abdominal US images of infants who were diagnosed with urinary tract infection (UTI group) or only hydronephrosis without UTI (control group). Hydronephrosis (graded 0-4) and ureter dilatation (present or absent) were evaluated on each side with US. Voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) within 3 months time interval with US was also reviewed and VUR was graded (0-5) on each side. Hydronephrosis, ureter dilatation, and VUR were then compared between the two groups.

RESULTS: Four hundred and three infants (142 in the UTI group and 261 in the control group) were included and VCUG was performed in 129 infants (68 in UTI and 61 in control groups). VUR grades were not different between the two groups (p=0.252). Hydronephrosis grade was not related to VUR in either group (p>0.05). However, ureter dilatation had a significant relationship with VUR in the UTI group (p=0.015), even among patients with a high-grade VUR (p=0.005). Whereas, ureter dilatation was not associated with VUR in the control group (p=0.744). The relationship between ureter dilatation and VUR was different between the two groups for both all grades (p=0.014) and high-grade (p=0.004) VUR. Ureter dilatation had 66.7% sensitivity, 80.3% specificity, and 79.4% accuracy for evaluating high-grade VUR in the UTI group.

CONCLUSION: Ureter dilatation on US can be a helpful finding for detecting VUR in infants with UTI, but not infants without UTI.

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