still water flowingWhat is hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis is a general term which literally means water in kidney. It refers to the swelling of the kidney most commonly due to some kind of obstructing agent impeding the flow of urine and causing backlog of the urine into the kidney. This accumulation of urine in the kidney (hydronephrosis) may be further defined as pelviectasis (which means swelling of the renal pelvis), caliectasis (which means swelling of the calyx or calices of the kidney – which are the subdevisions of the kidney), or ureterectasis (which is swelling of the ureter).

What are the causes of hydronephrosis?

Some of the causes of hydronephrosis are an obstructing kidney stone, which can block the flow of urine and cause the swelling. Other reasons are a ureteropelvic junction obstruction, which is where the ureter meets the renal pelvis. This condition is generally a congenital problem, unless it happens in an adult, which can be due to a tumor in the renal pelvis and is generally more ominous. Pressure on the ureter due to a mass (such as swollen lymph nodes due to cancer of prostate or ovarian cancer or testis cancer can also cause hydronephrosis. Lastly severe urinary retention in can cause hydronephrosis.

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