Hydronephrosis working study

Hydronephrosis is ‘swelling’ of the kidney due to a back-up of urine. This can be caused by a blockage in the ureter, which is the tube that drains the kidney, by vesicoureteral reflux, or many other causes. Sometimes the hydronephrosis goes away on its own, but sometimes the hydronephrosis persists and could potentially lead to kidney damage due to pressure on the kidney.

Some children with certain types of hydronephrosis, such as that caused by ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ obstruction), undergo surgery to prevent kidney damage. However not every child with UPJ obstruction will need to have surgery.

Goal of the study

We are trying to find simple lab tests that can help us decide if and when these children would need surgery. Currently these tests include kidney ultrasounds and nuclear medicine scans which take time to perform and can require a catheter to be placed. If we could instead have a simple urine test to tell us if a child’s hydronephrosis is going to cause kidney damage, we would be better able to predict the need for surgery.

We would look at biomarkers in the urine and blood over time and compare them to measures of kidney function and hydronephrosis. Participation in this study will not affect the care your child receives and will not require them to have any additional blood draws or catheters in addition to what they would need for their standard care.

Who can join?

  • Children (age birth to 17 years old) with a history of hydronephrosis

Study procedure

  • Participation in the study will not affect the care your child receives. 
  • No extra procedures needed
  • Urine collected from a bag or clean catch - no catheter
  • Urine collected at routine ultrasounds - no extra visits
  • Blood collected only if they already have an IV

If you would like more information on this clinical trial or are interested in joining, please email lpchhydro@stanford.edu.