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1.  Giant hydronephrosis mimicking progressive malignancy 
BMC Urology  2003;3:4.
Cases of giant hydronephroses are rare and usually contain no more than 1–2 litres of fluid in the collecting system. We report a remarkable case of giant hydronephrosis mimicking a progressive malignant abdominal tumour.
Case presentation
A 78-year-old cachectic woman presented with an enormous abdominal tumour, which, according to the patient, had slowly increased in diameter. Medical history was unremarkable except for a hysterectomy >30 years before. A CT scan revealed a giant cystic tumour filling almost the entire abdominal cavity. It was analysed by two independent radiologists who suspected a tumour originating from the right kidney and additionally a cystic ovarian neoplasm. Subsequently, a diagnostic and therapeutic laparotomy was performed: the tumour presented as a cystic, 35 × 30 × 25 cm expansive structure adhesive to adjacent organs without definite signs of invasive growth. The right renal hilar vessels could finally be identified at its basis. After extirpation another tumourous structure emerged in the pelvis originating from the genital organs and was also resected. The histopathological examination revealed a >15 kg hydronephrotic right kidney, lacking hardly any residual renal cortex parenchyma. The second specimen was identified as an ovary with regressive changes and a large partially calcified cyst. There was no evidence of malignant growth.
Although both clinical symptoms and the enormous size of the tumour indicated malignant growth, it turned out to be a giant hydronephrosis. Presumably, a chronic obstruction of the distal ureter had caused this extraordinary hydronephrosis. As demonstrated in our case, an accurate diagnosis of giant hydronephrosis remains challenging due to the atrophy of the renal parenchyma associated with chronic obstruction. Therefore, any abdominal cystic mass even in the absence of other evident pathologies should include the differential diagnosis of a possible hydronephrosis. Diagnostic accuracy might be increased by a combination of endourological techniques such as retrograde pyelography and modern imaging modalities.
PMCID: PMC270038  PMID: 14565853
chronic hydronephrosis; ureter obstruction; kidney cancer; ovarian neoplasm
2.  Bladder stones – red herring for resurgence of spasticity in a spinal cord injury patient with implantation of Medtronic Synchromed pump for intrathecal delivery of baclofen – a case report 
BMC Urology  2003;3:3.
Increased spasms in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, whose spasticity was previously well controlled with intrathecal baclofen therapy, are due to (in order of frequency) drug tolerance, increased stimulus, low reservoir volume, catheter malfunction, disease progression, human error, and pump mechanical failure. We present a SCI patient, in whom bladder calculi acted as red herring for increased spasticity whereas the real cause was spontaneous extrusion of catheter from intrathecal space.
Case Presentation
A 44-year-old male sustained a fracture of C5/6 and incomplete tetraplegia at C-8 level. Medtronic Synchromed pump for intrathecal baclofen therapy was implanted 13 months later to control severe spasticity. The tip of catheter was placed at T-10 level. The initial dose of baclofen was 300 micrograms/day of baclofen, administered by a simple continuous infusion. During a nine-month period, he required increasing doses of baclofen (875 micrograms/day) to control spasticity. X-ray of abdomen showed multiple radio opaque shadows in the region of urinary bladder. No malfunction of the pump was detected. Therefore, increased spasticity was attributed to bladder stones. Electrohydraulic lithotripsy of bladder stones was carried out successfully. Even after removal of bladder stones, this patient required further increases in the dose of intrathecal baclofen (950, 1050, 1200 and then 1300 micrograms/day). Careful evaluation of pump-catheter system revealed that the catheter had extruded spontaneously and was lying in the paraspinal space at L-4, where the catheter had been anchored before it entered the subarachnoid space. A new catheter was passed into the subarachnoid space and the tip of catheter was located at T-8 level. The dose of intrathecal baclofen was decreased to 300 micrograms/day.
Vesical calculi acted as red herring for resurgence of spasticity. The real cause for increased spasms was spontaneous extrusion of whole length of catheter from subarachnoid space. Repeated bending forwards and straightening of torso for pressure relief and during transfers from wheel chair probably contributed to spontaneous extrusion of catheter from spinal canal in this patient.
PMCID: PMC155678  PMID: 12659647
3.  Incidental diagnosis of diseases on un-enhanced helical computed tomography performed for ureteric colic 
BMC Urology  2003;3:2.
Patients presenting in the emergency room with flank pain suggestive of acute ureteric colic may have alternative underlying conditions mimicking ureteric stones. An early diagnosis and appropriate treatment for other causes of flank pain is important. The majority of centers around the world are increasingly using un-enhanced helical CT (UHCT) for evaluation of ureteric colic. This study was conducted to determine the incidence and spectrum of significant incidental diagnoses established or suggested on UHCT performed for suspected renal/ureteric colic.
Urologist and radiologist reviewed 233 consecutive UHCT, performed for suspected renal/ureteral colic along with assessment of the medical records. Radiological diagnoses of clinical entities not suspected otherwise were analyzed. All other relevant radiological, biochemical and serological investigations and per-operative findings were also noted.
Ureteral calculi were identified in 148 examinations (64%), findings of recent passage of calculi in 10 (4%) and no calculus in 75 examinations (32%). Overall the incidental findings (additional or alternative diagnosis) were found in 28 (12%) CT scans. Twenty (71%) of these diagnoses were confirmed by per-operative findings, biopsy, and other radiological and biochemical investigations or on clinical follow up.
A wide spectrum of significant incidental diagnoses can be identified on UHCT performed for suspected renal/ureteral colic. In the present series of 233 consecutive CT examinations, the incidence of incidental diagnosis was 12%.
PMCID: PMC153478  PMID: 12675951
Non-contrast enhanced Spiral Computed Tomography; flank pain; incidental diagnosis
4.  Stone clearance in lower pole nephrolithiasis after extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy – the controversy continues 
BMC Urology  2003;3:1.
To determine factors influencing the clearance of fragments after extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) for lower pole calyceal (LPC) stones.
In the period between July 1998 and Oct 2001, 100 patients with isolated lower polar calyceal calculi ≤ 20 mm, in patients aged ≥ 14 years, were included in the study. Intravenous urograms (IVU) were reviewed to define the LPC anatomy (width of the infundibulum and pelvicalyceal angle). Study end points i.e. stone free status; number of shock waves used and number of sessions were correlated with variables like LPC anatomy, body mass index and stone size.
At three months follow up the clearance for stone size ≤ 10 mm, 11–15 mm and 16–20 mm were 95, 96 and 90% respectively. Patients with acute LPC (<90°) and obtuse angle (>90°) had stone clearance of 94 and 100% respectively. For the infundibular width of < 4 mm, the stone clearance was 93% were as for > 4 mm, it was 100%. For body mass index (BMI) less than and > 30 kg/m2, the stone clearance was 92 and 95% respectively.
There is a trend towards more ESWL sessions and shock wave requirement in patients with acute pelvi-calyceal angle and narrow infundibulum but it is not statistically significant. Size (≤ 20 mm) and BMI has no relation with stone clearance. With modern lithotripter, stones up to 20 mm could primarily be treated by ESWL, irrespective of an un-favorable lower polar calyceal anatomy and body habitus.
PMCID: PMC150011  PMID: 12546707

Results 1-4 (4)