In utero surgical treatment of fetal obstructive uropathy: a new comprehensive approach to identify appropriate candidates for vesicoamniotic shunt therapy

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Jun;170(6):1770-6; discussion 1776-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(94)70353-1.


Objectives: We present a new approach to prenatal evaluation and prediction of renal function and long-term outcomes for fetuses considered candidates for in utero surgery.

Study design: A review of 34 cases of obstructive uropathies was made, with analysis of our approach to prenatal evaluation, the predictive value of urinary electrolytes and protein analysis in identifying renal dysplasia, and the outcomes of cases with and without in utero surgical intervention.

Results: Ten of 11 pregnancies that were terminated had dysplasia; one female had cloacal dysgenesis. In three of eight unshunted cases megacystis resolved after vesicocentesis. Eight of 15 shunted fetuses survived. Of those predicted to have good postnatal outcome, six of six demonstrated good postnatal renal function. Of those predicted to have poor outcomes, two of two had poor postnatal renal function and dysplasia. Seven of 15 shunted fetuses died, four of four predicted to have dysplasia were confirmed, and three died of nonrenal causes.

Conclusions: Our prenatal approach successfully differentiated fetuses with underlying renal dysplasia from those without irreversible damage who subsequently benefited from in utero vesicoamniotic shunt placement.

MeSH terms

  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Electrolytes / urine
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases / surgery*
  • Fetus / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hydronephrosis / etiology
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Urethral Obstruction / complications
  • Urethral Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Urethral Obstruction / surgery*
  • Urinary Bladder / surgery


  • Electrolytes