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Accumulation of urine in and distension of the renal pelvis and calyces due to obstructed outflow.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a disease characterized by progressive enlargement of the cavities of the kidneys, with subsequent anemia and the atrophy of renal tissue.

Hydronephrosis is the result of an impairment of urinary discharge from the renal pelvis (most often the dextral one). The disease is found most commonly in women between the ages of 20 and 40 and in children. Congenital hydronephroses develop when there are defects in the development of the urinary system; mechanical, when there is blockage of the renal pelvis or ureter by a calculus, tumor, or inflammatory cicatrix; dynamic, when there is damage to the neuromuscular apparatus of the renal pelvis and ureter; and traumatic, when there are wounds to the ureter or pressure on it from adhesions after a blunt injury. Disruption of the discharge of urine leads to distention of the renal pelvis and calyces and an increase in intrarenal pressure, as a result of which the blood vessels are constricted and the blood circulation in the kidney impaired. Atrophy of the renal parenchyma gradually develops. If treated in time, the organ may be restored. Usually hydronephrosis develops asymptomatically, but sometimes there are attacks of renal colic or dull pains in the region of the kidneys, blood in the urine (hematuria), and, when there is accompanying infection, pus in the urine (pyuria). Treatment is surgical.


Abramian, A. Ia. “Gidronefroz i gidroureter.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po khirurgii, vol. 9. Edited by B. V. Petrovskii. Moscow, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.