Fetal pyelectasis: Is it always "physiologic"?

Abdallah M. Adra, Andres A. Mejides, Maha S. Dennaoui, Samir N. Beydoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine the degree of fetal pyelectasis predictive of neonatal renal pathologic processes. STUDY DESIGN: Eighty-four cases of pyelectasis were identified during the study period (1989 through 1993). Fetuses with an anteroposterior diameter of the renal pelvis ≥4 mm before 33 weeks or ≥7 mm after 33 weeks without caliectasis were included. Fetuses with an anteroposterior diameter of >10 mm were excluded. Postnatal evaluation included renal sonogram, voiding cystourethrogram, and renal flow and function studies. RESULTS: Sixteen cases were excluded because of incomplete postnatal workup. Renal pathologic processes were found in 30 of 68 (44%) at birth: the most common were ureteropelvic junction obstruction (37%) and vesicoureteral reflux (33%). Only four cases required surgical intervention (13%), and the remaining 87% were managed conservatively. A normal urinary tract was found in 25% of the infants and the remaining 21 of 68 (31%) had regression of pyelectasis before birth. Fetuses with a dilated anteroposterior diameter ≥8 mm after 28 weeks' gestation were found to have renal pathologic features in two of three of the cases, with sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 87%, 41%, 66.7% and 70%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Fetuses with an anteroposterior diameter of the renal pelvis ≥8 mm after 28 weeks' gestation require appropriate urologic evaluation after birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1266
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • Prenatal ultrasonography
  • pyelectasis
  • renal pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Medicine(all)


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