Objective: An excessive amount of collagen fibers around the muscle cells in the ureteropelvic junction could be responsible for obstruction in patients with hydronephrosis. We aimed to elucidate the ultrastructure of the ureters and correlate this finding with the prognostic outcome and to correlate the histopathological findings with diuretic radionuclide renography findings.
Material and methods: Biopsy specimens of 20 children who underwent dismembered pyeloplasty for ureteropelvic junction obstruction were analyzed. The patients were grouped according to their age: infants (<12 months) and others (>12 months). Diuretic radionuclide imaging was performed using (99m)Tc mercaptylacetyltriglycine in the pre- and postoperative periods. Changes in differential renal function and excretion patterns on diuretic renography were evaluated in relation to the findings noted on histopathological examination of the biopsy specimens. Excretion patterns were classified as follows: A, normal; B, responsive to diuretic; C, minimal response to diuretic with some excretion after postural change; and D, very poor/no drainage despite diuretics. Biopsy materials were analyzed for the presence and extent of inflammation, fibrosis and changes in the smooth muscle layer using Masson's trichrome stain and immunohistochemical staining. Histopathological findings were graded from zero to three, depending on severity.
Results: In patients aged <12 months, preoperative differential renal function (DRF) was associated with fibrosis (F) and smooth muscle hypertrophy (SMH) [mean (SD) DRF for both F and SMH were Grade 0-1, 47.8% (6.4%); Grade 2-3, 36.2% (11.3%); p<0.05]; and change in DRF was associated with inflammation [Grade 0-1, -0.1% (4.0%); Grade 2-3, 5.8% (3.0%); p<0.05]. Excretion patterns or improvement in excretion were not associated with any of the histopathological features. Change in DRF was significantly associated with inflammation Grade 2-3 (beta coefficient, 5.8; 95% CI 1.4-10.3).
Conclusions: Histopathological evaluation of renal parenchymal biopsy specimens obtained during pyeloplasty may be useful to provide an objective method for predicting the recovery of renal function. In addition, this will allow comparison of the types of histopathological alterations with the changes in differential renal function in order to predict the potential final improvement.