Kidneys with reflux nephropathy maintain relative renal function after ureteral reimplantation

Kenneth G. Nepple, J. Christopher Austin, Charles E. Hawtrey, Christopher S. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: In children with severe unilateral reflux nephropathy and diminished relative renal function (RRF) a dilemma exists between the choice of treatment with ureteral reimplantation or nephrectomy. Limited followup data are available regarding relative renal function or postoperative complications after ureteral reimplantation in kidneys with significant unilateral reflux nephropathy. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 460 patients who underwent ureteral reimplantation between 1980 and 2002, and identified children with primary vesicoureteral reflux and severe unilateral reflux nephropathy (RRF 30% or less on renal scintigraphy). The postoperative outcomes were assessed for relative renal function and complications including hypertension, pyelonephritis or persistent reflux. Results: A total of 18 girls and 14 boys with a mean preoperative relative renal function of 20.1 ± 7.8% (range 2% to 30%) met the inclusion criteria. Reflux grade in the poorly functioning kidney was II in 4 children (13%), III in 14 (44%), IV in 11 (34%) and V in 3 (9%). Reflux was unilateral in 15 children (47%) and bilateral in 17 (53%). Mean followup from surgery was 3.7 years (range 0.3 to 12.9). In 28 children with both preoperative and postoperative renal scans, mean preoperative RRF was 20.3 ± 7.4% and mean postoperative RRF was 20.5 ± 8.6% with a mean time between renal scans of 2.3 years. No statistically significant change was noted from preoperative to postoperative relative renal function with a mean change of +0.2 ± 3.7% (range -6.5% to +10%, p=0.82). Postoperative complications occurred in 7 of the 32 children (22%), including hypertension (1), pyelonephritis (3) and persistent reflux (4). Pyelonephritis occurred in 1 child with persistent reflux. No statistically significant difference existed in mean preoperative relative renal function between those with and without complications (24.6 ± .9% vs 18.8 ± 7.2%, p = 0.09). Conclusions: Children who underwent ureteral reimplantation in association with unilateral reflux nephropathy maintained stable relative renal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1606-1608
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 II
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Kidney
  • Outcome assessment
  • Surgery
  • Vesico-ureteral reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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