What Are Some Causes of Hydronephrosis in Adults?


Quick Answer

Hydronephrosis in adults occurs as a result of diseases such as kidney stones and chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy that cause the kidney to swell due to backup of urine, explains MedlinePlus. Hydronephrosis may occur in pregnant women without any known cause.

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Diseases that affect the normal drainage of urine from the kidney to the bladder may cause hydronephrosis in adults, states Healthline. One of the most common conditions that causes hydronephrosis is acute unilateral obstructive uropathy. This condition is characterized by the development of an obstacle in the ureter. The blockage could be due to kidney stones, blood clots or scarring. The blockage may cause backflow of urine to the kidney, a condition known as vesicoureteric reflux.

An injury may cause the ureter to become narrower, which may affect the normal drainage of urine and cause hydronephrosis, according to Healthline. A kink in the junction where the ureter meets the pelvis of the kidney may also cause hydronephrosis. A tumor near or in the ureter may block it and cause backflow of urine. Sarcomas and lymphomas may suppress the ureter and prevent the flow of urine, causing hydronephrosis, explains MedicineNet.

Bladder diseases that may cause hydronephrosis are bladder cancer, bladder stones, cystocele and bladder neck contracture, according to MedicineNet. Prostate cancer and prostate hypertrophy are some of the extrinsic causes of hydronephrosis in males.

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