UPJ Obstruction Symptoms and Diagnostic Tools

In the case of symptomatic occurrences, a person with this disease may experience kidney pain, back or flank pain. Moreover, kidney infection is commonly seen in the people having UPJ obstruction. Urinary tract obstruction (UTI) is another symptom of UPJ obstruction. This type of UTI is usually accompanied by fever. Haematuria (blood in urine) is also often associated with UPJ obstruction. In addition, this obstruction may be associated with the individual’s complaint of feeling like there is a lump in the abdomen or abdominal mass. In some cases, people with this disease may experience vomiting.

Alternatively, UPJ Obstruction may be asymptomatic (no symptoms). It is also important to note that symptoms of UPJ Obstruction may be associated with an alternative condition or if UPJ Obstruction is left untreated may lead to kidney damage and/or a life threatening condition that may emergent in nature.

Signs of UPJ Obstruction in Infants

This disease may be congenital in nature, meaning present in the womb of the mother and from birth. Infants may experience poor rate of growth. Thriving failure might be seen among affected infants and it should be understood that a baby could be called an infant from 4 weeks after birth until age one, according to WHO and UNICEF.

Diagnosis of UPJ Obstruction

A diagnosis of UPJ obstruction may or may not be complicated. It might be wise to be selective when choosing tests for the diagnosis of UPJ Obstruction. 

In case of a unborn baby, Ultrasound may show signs of UPJ Obstruction.

In the case of neonate, infant, child and adults, Blood Urea Nitrogen level (BUN), creatinine clearance, CT scan, a common electrolytes level test, other blood and urine work may be performed to diagnose UPJ obstruction.

Nuclear scan of the kidney is not necessarily offered in the case of less complicated conditions.

CT urogram may be performed to diagnose the UPJ obstruction. In the case of CT urogram, scanning of kidneys and ureters with IV contrasts may be performed.

There are many other methods in which ureteropelvic junction obstructions may be diagnosed, including: Intravenous pyelogram and X-ray, whereby medical professionals may see the Intravenous pyelogram dye and the kidney shape.

One of the most useful tests is a furosemides renal scan. This is a diagnostic test that is similar to the excretory urogram. The difference between these tests is that, instead of an x-ray, dye is used as radioactive material.

An ultrasound may not offer conclusive results which may pose risks for people with UPJ Obstruction. For example, UPJ obstructions may appear similarly to kidney stones on an ultrasound. If ultrasound test results are indicative of kidney stones, the first line in treatment may be medications for up to three days at which time “2nd line treatment” may be initiated if the “stones have not passed”.  Such waiting time periods, coupled with misdiagnosis, may create a risk for unnecessary non-invasive treatment, unnecessary surgery, may lead to kidney impairment, and may become life threatening swiftly or over time.  

If a kidney related illness, dysfunction, or failure is suspected along with or instead of UPJ Obstruction, surgery may be proposed, possibly along with the implantation of a stent(s) that may or may not, in itself, result in final treatment for UPJ Obstruction or preventing risks associated with UPJ Obstruction. Recurrence of UPJ Obstruction may occur. For this reason, continual monitoring at regular intervals to assess the health of the kidneys and functional capacity are wise. This may make having a Q and A session with your physician and/or surgeon very valuable.       

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It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.