JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Prenatal diagnosis and management of bilateral hydronephrosis.

This report reviews the management of the fetus with congenital hydronephrosis (CH), a challenging diagnostic and therapeutic problem. Experimental models of obstructive uropathy have produced histologic changes similar to those seen in kidneys of human neonates with congenital hydronephrosis. Relief of obstruction in utero in these models has been shown to prevent some of the dysplastic changes caused by obstruction. These studies have formed the theoretical basis for in utero decompression to restore amniotic fluid dynamics to prevent death from pulmonary hypoplasia, and reverse or arrest dysplastic morphogenesis. The development of prognostic criteria has greatly aided in selection of appropriate fetuses for intervention. These criteria include: (1) Na less than 100 mEq/l; (2) Cl less than 90 mEq/l; (3) osmolarity less than 210 mosmol; (4) sonographic appearance of the fetal kidneys; (5) amniotic fluid status; (6) urine output at fetal bladder catheterization. All fetuses should have ultrasonography to exclude other anomalies, and karyotype analysis to exclude chromosomal abnormality. If amniotic fluid volume is normal, the pregnancy is followed with serial ultrasound examinations. If oligohydramnios develops, a prognostic evaluation is performed, including fetal bladder catheterization. If the fetus has poor residual renal function, on the basis of prognostic criteria, appropriate counseling may be given. If the fetus has good residual renal function, depending on lung maturity, it can be delivered early for corrective surgery. If diagnosed prior to lung maturity in utero, decompression by either vesicoamniotic shunting or open fetal surgery may be attempted in the highly selected case.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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