The ureter is a small tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. Normally, one ureter carries urine from each kidney to the bladder.
Ureterocele refers to a cystic enlargement of the ureter at the point where it meets the bladder, limiting or blocking the flow of urine.
Occasionally, a “duplicated collecting system” develops, meaning that two ureters travel from a single kidney to the bladder. This duplicated collecting system is present in 75% of ureterocele cases, and is usually found to be unilateral (single-sided).
Ureterocele occurs in approximately 1 in 5,000 births.
Once diagnosed, this condition may be monitored with serial ultrasound studies. Consultation with pediatric urologists is recommended to discuss prognosis and management after birth.
Ureteroceles may cause bladder obstruction and urinary tract infection in infants and children, and surgery may be required in those cases diagnosed upon prenatal ultrasound. An isolated ureterocele with good renal function is associated with an excellent outcome.