Duplex Collecting System | Diagnosis & Treatments

How are ureteral duplication and ureterocele diagnosed?

Often they are noticed before birth, when a prenatal ultrasound exam shows swelling (hydronephrosis) of a kidney. If a ureterocele isn't detected during pregnancy, it may not be detected until your child has recurrent urinary tract infections.

If your child has a history of frequent urinary tract infections, your child's physician may recommend the following tests:

  • Ultrasound of the entire urinary tract: This imaging test helps your child's doctor view internal organs as they function and to check the blood flow through various vessels.
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP): A special x-ray of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, using a liquid called contrast that helps reveal the rate and path of urine flow through the urinary tract.

What sort of treatment will my child receive?

Specific treatment recommendations for a ureterocele or ureteral duplication will depend on your child's individual situation.

If your child is ill from a urinary tract infection, intravenous fluids and antibiotics may be administered. Once the urinary tract infection is resolved, the ureterocele will be addressed.

Ureterocele treatment

If the area of the ureter has a great deal of urine accumulation, it may need to be surgically drained.

  • Larger ureteroceles that cause a great deal of backflow into the ureter may need to be removed. (The normal duplicate ureter is often left alone.)
  • A small ureterocele may not require medical intervention if the kidney is functioning without difficulty.

If your child's kidney has been damaged, part of it may need to be removed. For more information on that procedure, see our page on nephrectomy.

For more information, see our page on ureterocele.