Treatment of infants with ureteropelvic junction obstruction: findings from the PURSUIT network

Int Urol Nephrol. 2021 Aug;53(8):1485-1495. doi: 10.1007/s11255-021-02866-y. Epub 2021 May 4.


Purpose: Studies based on administrative databases show that infant pyeloplasty is associated with minority race/ethnicity but lack clinical data that may influence treatment. Our objective was to identify clinical and demographic factors associated with pyeloplasty in infants from three large tertiary centers.

Methods: We reviewed infants with unilateral Society for Fetal Urology (SFU) grade 3-4 hydronephrosis seen at three tertiary centers from 2/1/2018 to 9/30/2019. Patients were excluded if > 6 months old or treated surgically prior to the initial visit. Outcomes were: pyeloplasty < age 1 year and SFU grade on most recent ultrasound (US) within the first year. Covariables included: age at the initial visit, race/ethnicity, treating site, insurance type, febrile UTI, and initial imaging findings. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed using log-rank tests and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively.

Results: 197 patients met study criteria; 19.3% underwent pyeloplasty. Pyeloplasty was associated with: treating site (p = 0.03), SFU 4 on initial US (p = 0.001), MAG-3 (p < 0.001), and T½ > 20 min (p < 0.001) in patients undergoing a MAG-3 (n = 107). MAG-3 (p < 0.001) and location (p = 0.08) were associated with earlier time to pyeloplasty on multivariable Cox analysis. In infants with follow-up US (n = 115), initial SFU grade, MAG-3 evaluation or findings, and pyeloplasty were not associated with improvement of hydronephrosis.

Conclusions: We found that infant pyeloplasty rates vary between sites. Prolonged T½ was associated with surgery despite prior studies suggesting this is a poor predictor of worsening dilation or function. These findings suggest the need to standardize evaluation and indications for intervention in infants with suspected UPJ obstruction.

Keywords: Electronic health record; Practice patterns; Prenatal hydronephrosis; Ureteropelvic junction obstruction.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hydronephrosis / etiology
  • Hydronephrosis / surgery
  • Infant
  • Kidney Pelvis / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ureteral Obstruction / complications
  • Ureteral Obstruction / surgery*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures