ESPN 50th Annual Meeting

ESPN 2017

Early ultrasound detection of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract


Abdominal ultrasound is currently the primary method of assessing organs inside of the abdomen. In the literature there is no explicit opinion on the need of performing abdominal ultrasound as a screening test in children. Because many disorders of small children are asymptomatic, the early detection of abdominal abnormalities and the implementation of appropriate treatment in the early stages of the disease may be a chance to avoid serious complications.

The main objective of the study was to demonstrate the potential usefulness of abdominal ultrasound in children as a screening test for the early detection of congenital defects in the abdominal cavity including particularly the urinary tract.

Material and methods:

The study included 500 children (252 girls and 248 boys) aged from 1 month to 7 years, who never had ultrasound examination of the abdomen before. All the children had no clinical symptoms.


In the whole group 44,4% were infants, children over 1 year constituted 55,6%. Abnormalities were observed in 13,6% of the evaluated children. Congenital malformations of the kidneys and urinary tract were identified in 5,8% (29/500) patients. These abnormalities accounted for 42,6% (29/68) of all identified anomalies. Significant pelvic dilatation were found in 51,7% (15/29) of children with congenital malformations of the kidneys and urinary tract.  Duplicated collecting system with hydronephrosis were found in 6/29 patients (20,7%). In 4/29 patients (13,8%) ultrasound showed enlarged ureter. 2/29 children (6,7%) were diagnosed with asymmetric kidneys. Ureterocele and renal agenesis were identified in single patients.


1. Abdominal ultrasound is effective for early detection of renal and urinary tract anomalies. 2. In spite of the current prenatal ultrasound anomaly screening program infants are still diagnosed with congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract which haven’t been found in utero.