UPJ Obstruction


UPJ obstruction is a blockage at the junction of the kidney and ureter (the tube that drains the kidney to the bladder).  Most commonly this is a congenital abnormality due to a narrowed segment within the urinary tract at the UPJ or due to compression from an extra blood vessel supplying the lower part of the kidney.  This may be diagnosed during infancy but often is found in early adulthood.  Because the affected kidney does not drain perfectly, urine accumulates in the kidney causing swelling (hydronephrosis) which is seen on ultrasound or other abdominal imaging.  Although less common, UPJ obstruction can also develop secondary to kidney stones, urinary tract surgery, or chronic disorders causing inflammation of the urinary tract. 

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