Antenatal staging of congenital lower urinary tract obstruction

F. Fontanella, P. N. Adama van Scheltema, L. Duin, T. E. Cohen-Overbeek, E. Pajkrt, M. N. Bekker, C. Willekes, D. Oepkes, C. M. Bilardo

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Objective: To propose a staging system for congenital lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO) capable of predicting the severity of the condition and its prognosis. Methods: This was a national retrospective study carried out at the eight Academic Hospitals in The Netherlands. We collected prenatal and postnatal data of fetuses at high risk of isolated LUTO that were managed conservatively. Postnatal renal function was assessed by the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), calculated using the Schwartz formula, considering the length of the infant and the creatinine nadir in the first year after birth. Receiver–operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis, univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression analysis with stepwise backward elimination were performed in order to identify the best antenatal predictors of perinatal mortality and postnatal renal function. Results: In total, 261 fetuses suspected of having LUTO and managed conservatively were included in the study. The pregnancy was terminated in 110 cases and perinatal death occurred in 35 cases. Gestational age at appearance of oligohydramnios showed excellent accuracy in predicting the risk of perinatal mortality with an area under the ROC curve of 0.95 (P < 0.001) and an optimal cut-off at 26 weeks' gestation. Fetuses with normal amniotic fluid (AF) volume at 26 weeks' gestation presented with low risk of poor outcome and were therefore defined as cases with mild LUTO. In fetuses referred before the 26 th week of gestation, the urinary bladder volume (BV) was the best unique predictor of perinatal mortality. ROC curve analysis identified a BV of 5.4 cm 3 and appearance of oligohydramnios at 20 weeks as the best threshold for predicting an adverse outcome. LUTO cases with a BV ≥ 5.4 cm 3 or abnormal AF volume before 20 weeks' gestation were defined as severe and those with BV < 5.4 cm 3 and normal AF volume at the 20 weeks' scan were defined as moderate. Risk of perinatal mortality significantly increased according to the stage of severity, from mild to moderate to severe stage, from 9% to 26% to 55%, respectively. Similarly, risk of severely impaired renal function increased from 11% to 31% to 44%, for mild, moderate and severe LUTO, respectively. Conclusions: Gestational age at appearance of oligo- or anhydramnios and BV at diagnosis can accurately predict mortality and morbidity in fetuses with LUTO. Our proposed staging system can triage reliably fetuses with LUTO and predict the severity of the condition and its prognosis. Copyright © 2018 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • LUTO
  • fetal therapy
  • lower urinary tract obstruction
  • megacystis
  • vesicoamniotic shunt

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