Duplex Collecting System
What is a duplex collecting system?
A normal urinary tract includes two kidneys; each with a ureter that drains urine into the bladder. In a duplex system, one or both of the kidneys have two ureters connected to one kidney draining into the bladder. A duplex system is often associated with a ureterocele which causes a back up of urine in the kidney (hydronephrosis). It is common that the ureter with the ureterocele drains the top of the kidney into the lower part of the bladder and the other ureter drains the lower half of the kidney and inserts in the bladder above the first ureter.
Why come to Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment of this condition?
The professionals at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado are dedicated to caring for kids. The members of the urology team are experts in pediatric urologic conditions and our surgeons are specialized in both pediatrics and urology. We strive to help patients and families feel educated about their condition, prepared for treatment and fully cared for by our urology team.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Often a duplex kidney is picked up during pregnancy when the ultrasound scan may show swelling (hydronephrosis) of the fetus’ kidney. However a duplex kidney may not be recognized until after birth when it can cause a urinary tract infection and/or day and night time wetting for a child.
How do you diagnose it?
A duplex kidney is most commonly diagnosed by using an ultrasound scan. This is a simple test that looks at the kidney and it is not painful. Sometimes it is necessary to do other tests and these can include a VCUG, where a catheter is placed into the bladder and x-rays are taken as the bladder is filled. Another test used to diagnose this condition is a renogram when the function of the kidney is evaluated.
How is it treated?
Treatment depends on the child’s age, overall health, extent of the condition and medical history. Each child is different and the physician will determine the most appropriate treatment for your child. Treatment could include surgical correction, following the condition with regular radiology testing or nothing.
Who gets it, and can it be prevented?
Causes of ureteral duplication is unknown, however, it is more common in females.
When should I seek medical attention?
If your child is diagnosed upon prenatal ultrasound scan you can visit a urologist before and/or after the child is born. If your child has multiple recurrent urinary tract infections, it is important to visit a urologist to figure out why the infections continue to come back. It is always important to visit your primary care physician first.