What Is Pelviectasis?

Are you curious to know what is pelviectasis? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about pelviectasis in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is pelviectasis?

Pelviectasis, also known as hydronephrosis, is a medical condition that affects the kidneys and refers to the dilation or swelling of the renal pelvis. It is commonly detected during prenatal ultrasounds or in individuals of all ages through various diagnostic tests. In this blog, we will explore what pelviectasis is, its potential causes, common symptoms, and the management options available.

What Is Pelviectasis?

Pelviectasis is characterized by the enlargement of the renal pelvis, which is the part of the kidney that collects urine before it travels to the bladder. The dilation occurs when there is a blockage or obstruction in the urinary tract, preventing the normal flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder. This blockage can occur at any point along the urinary tract, such as the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder) or the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body).

Causes Of Pelviectasis

  1. Congenital Anomalies: Pelviectasis can occur as a result of congenital anomalies, meaning they are present from birth. Conditions such as ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO) or vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) can cause blockages or backflow of urine, leading to the dilation of the renal pelvis.
  2. Kidney Stones: The presence of kidney stones can obstruct the normal flow of urine, leading to pelviectasis. Kidney stones are solid deposits formed in the kidneys from minerals and salts, and when they become lodged in the urinary tract, they can cause blockages and subsequent swelling.
  3. Urinary Tract Infections: Recurrent or severe urinary tract infections (UTIs) can lead to inflammation and scarring in the urinary tract, potentially causing obstructions and pelviectasis.
  4. Tumors or Masses: Abnormal growths in the urinary tract, such as tumors or masses, can cause blockages, leading to the dilation of the renal pelvis.

Common Symptoms

In many cases, pelviectasis does not cause any noticeable symptoms and is often detected incidentally during prenatal ultrasounds or diagnostic tests. However, in some instances, individuals may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Flank or Abdominal Pain: Dull or intermittent pain in the flank or abdominal region may occur, especially if there is an underlying condition causing pelviectasis, such as kidney stones or urinary tract infections.
  2. Frequent Urinary Tract Infections: Pelviectasis can make individuals more prone to urinary tract infections, leading to symptoms such as pain or burning during urination, increased frequency of urination, and cloudy or bloody urine.

Management And Treatment Options

The management of pelviectasis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In some cases, pelviectasis may resolve on its own as the obstruction clears or as the underlying condition is treated. However, if the pelviectasis persists or if it causes significant symptoms or complications, medical intervention may be necessary. Treatment options may include:

  1. Watchful Waiting: If the pelviectasis is mild and not causing significant symptoms or complications, a “wait and watch” approach may be recommended. Regular monitoring through ultrasounds and follow-up appointments can help track the condition’s progression and determine if intervention is necessary.
  2. Medication: In cases where urinary tract infections are contributing to pelviectasis, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection and alleviate symptoms.
  3. Surgical Interventions: If the pelviectasis is severe, persistent, or causing complications, surgical intervention may be necessary. Procedures such as pyeloplasty (to repair a narrowed or obstructed ureteropelvic junction) or stone removal (in the case of kidney stones) may be performed to alleviate the obstruction and restore normal urine flow.


Pelviectasis, or hydronephrosis, is a condition characterized by the dilation of the renal pelvis due to urinary tract obstructions. While it is often detected incidentally during prenatal ultrasounds or diagnostic tests, it can also cause symptoms such as pain and frequent urinary tract infections in some individuals. The management of pelviectasis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. With proper monitoring and appropriate medical interventions, most cases of pelviectasis can be effectively managed, ensuring the optimal functioning of the urinary tract and kidney health.

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Is Pelviectasis Serious?

Is pyelectasis serious? In most cases, pyelectasis won’t have a significant negative impact on your baby. The majority of babies with pyelectasis are born healthy and do quite well. Rarely, pyelectasis will develop into severe hydronephrosis.

Is Mild Pelviectasis Serious?

Mild pyelectasis is a common and usually benign finding (see Fig. 33.6). In some cases, however, it may be secondary to vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) or obstruction. Prenatal ultrasound follow-up should be performed to ensure that the dilation does not increase with gestation.

How Do You Treat Pelviectasis?

Surgery: In the rare case that your baby needs surgery, a pediatric urologist may perform a pyeloplasty. This common and highly effective surgery corrects a blockage between the kidney and ureter, allowing urine to drain properly from the kidney to the bladder.

Is Pelviectasis Common?

Pyelectasis is an increased collection of urine in part of the baby’s kidney called the renal pelvis. Approximately 1 in every 40 pregnancies have pyelectasis, and this can be seen in one or both of the kidneys. Pyelectasis can be seen in any pregnancy, but is more common in boys.


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