Hydronephrosis: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to detect hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis can be detected pre-birth through a routine prenatal ultrasound. Hydronephrosis is not a diagnosis; it is a finding that indicates an obstruction. Once the cause of the obstruction is decided, the appropriate treatment will be determined.

If hydronephrosis is discovered after birth, or if a child develops hydronephrosis, the underlying cause of the obstruction will need to be determined by utilizing one or more of the following tests, depending on the severity of the condition:

  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)
  • Renal ultrasound (RUS)
  • Renal Scan (MAG 3 with lasix)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (this is rarely needed)

If your child experiences any of the symptoms of hydronephrosis, seek medical attention. If your child has already been diagnosed, it is important to continue regular follow-up appointments to evaluate if the condition is worsening or improving.