Hydronephrosis

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Hydronephrosis
Nicole Martin
Sanford Brown College
Urinalysis MA 116
Dr. Reece
November 26, 2012

Hydronephrosis is a condition in which the kidneys are swollen due to the obstruction of urine flow in any part of the urinary tract. Hydronephrosis is also referred to as “water inside the kidney”. The word hydronephrosis can be broken down in medical terms as follows: the term “hydro” represents “water”, the term “nephron” represents “kidney”, and the term “sis” represents “an action, process, state, or condition”

Hydronephrosis is not a disease itself, but rather a condition that occurs with a disease. Hydronephrosis can be the result of several different abnormalities. In general the cause results from an obstruction located at the junction of the ureter and renal pelvis. It can also be the cause of reflux, which is urine flowing back into the kidneys from the bladder.

In a normal healthy body urine flows out of the kidney at extremely low pressure. If the flow of urine is obstructed, then the urine backs up behind the point at which is blocked. The urine eventually reaches the small tubes of the kidney and the renal pelvis (collecting area) stretching the kidney and increasing the pressure on its internal structures. The increased pressure from the obstruction may damage the kidney and more importantly result in loss of its function. Because of the obstruction of urine urinary tract infections are caused, and kidney stones are likely to be formed. If both kidneys are obstructed kidney failure may result.

Some structural abnormalities of the area between the kidney, ureter, and bladder occur during fetal development. Some of the known defects have been identified as inherited conditions, but tests have not determined this exactly. Other structural abnormalities can be caused by injury, surgery, or radiation therapy, among the few possibilities.

Hydronephrosis in children is usually never diagnosed until symptoms start to occur. With...
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