What is renal ectasia?

Ectasia is aterm that refers to the presence of dilation,which usually occurs as part of a pathophysiological process. Also to the presence of some distension (decrease of tension) of tubular structures.

Renal ectasiaor pyelic ectasia, is then adilation of the kidney area called renal pelvis. It is usually found in routine prenatal control or through an ultrasound of the renal system, as it is not detected during pregnancy but in the development of life. (1)

Note: The renal pelvis is responsible for conducting urine to the bladder through the tube between the kidneys and the ureter.

Causes of renal ectasia

Renal ectasiahas different causes of its developmentor onset. They will be mentioned and described below to allow their knowledge and understanding.

1. Anatomical abnormalities

Early identification of renal ectasia is due to an anatomical anomaly that serves as an alert to identify or rule out the presence of other types of anomalies in the renal system.

Important: This dilation is usually observed between 1 and 4% of all pregnanciesand usually resolves spontaneously as it is transient. It is only a worrying anomaly when the dilation allows to affect the urinary system or is accompanied by the presence of other disorders.(two)

2. Cysts, nodules, stones or tumors

When the dilation that characterizes renal ectasia occurs in adulthood, it is usually a consequence of cysts, nodules, stones or tumors that cause blockage of the passage of urine, so then there is an accumulation that leads to dilation of the renal pelvis.

3. Infection

An infection of serious severity in the urinary tract can be the cause of a renal ectasia identified mainly by feverish symptoms greater than 24 hours, which presents as a consequence an alteration with a closing mechanism. (3)

Symptoms of kidney ectasia

Like any disorder, renal ectasia presents symptoms that allow it to be identifiedtag. It will be mentioned and described below for recognition if necessary.

1. Abdominal pain

Due to the obstruction that occurs in the area of the renal and urinary system,pain in the abdominal area arises in the body. They are usually identified by periodic intense pain crises, especially if the reason for renal ectasia is obstruction by cysts, nodules, or stones.

2. Changes in urine

The dilation can be of varying degreestag. which would affect not only the production, but also the secretion or flow of urine due to possible existing obstructions.

3. Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are usually linked to the degree of pain and discomfort that is presentin the symptoms of renal ectasia. They are also linked with the presence of infections in the urinary tract, with extension of pain or as a consequence of the same obstruction.

4. Fever

High temperatures commonly occur due to the presence of an infectionin the body. When we talk about renal ectasia, it is emphasized in urinary infections, which are usually a reason or consequence of this disorder.

How to cure dilated kidneys?

Due to the nature of renal ectasia, there are certain treatments that allow the control and reduction of the symptoms and the disorder itself. They will be mentioned and described below.

1. Drugs prescribed by a specialist

The prescribed drugs are usually antibiotics , especially in cases of very low severity, because in this way present infections can be treated and symptoms reduced.

To highlight: In cases of presence of pyelic ectasia, prevention and control treatmentscalled antibiotic prophylaxis are applied, taking into account that they must be guided by a medical professional and limited to high-risk patients. (4)

2. Urinary tract drainage

The drainage of the urinary tract is performed in some cases while the treatment has the necessary effect or is based on more severe treatments such as surgical intervention.

Note: To reduce the accumulation of urine that may occur, drainage is performed through a catheter , also reducing the risk of its return to the kidneys, which can lead to complications.

3. Surgery

It is performed by urologists or nephrologists, and is performed in extremely necessary cases aimed at suppressing the origin of the obstruction that leads to renal ectasia.

Key Findings

  • Renal ectasia is a dilation or obstructionthat occurs in the area of the kidney called the renal pelvis.
  • This dilation can be produced by the presence of cysts, nodules, tumors, kidney stones and an infection.
  • It presents symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, fever and changes in the flow of urine.
  • For its treatment , drugs are applied that stop infections and reduce or relieve the present symptoms, in addition to the possibility of needing drainage and surgery to return the ducts to normal sizes.

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