Lower urinary tract obstruction or LUTO is a fetal condition and is rare. This happens when there is a blockage in the urinary tract of the developing fetus. The urinary tract could be the two kidneys, two ureters, the urinary bladder or the urethra. These are the organs responsible for the production and storage of urine.
The kidneys and the ureters from the upper urinary tract were the urethrae and the bladder from the lower urinary tract. When there is a condition of Lower urinary tract obstruction on that occasion it causes the urine to get blocked from leaving the body and the lower urinary tract.
Symptoms of Lower urinary tract obstruction
All the parts of the urinary tract that lies above where the obstruction is get swollen with urine. This is because it is not possible to drain the urine. This is threatening as it could cause a permanent damage to the kidney.
This leads to the decrease in the amniotic fluid which causes damage to the lungs. The Lower urinary tract obstruction could cause damage to more than one organ.
Causes of Lower urinary tract obstruction
Lower urinary tract obstruction could occur because of the chromosomes of the fetus or of a genetic disorder. If this happens at that time there could be some other abnormalities also in the fetus. It could also happen that some parts of the urethra are narrow or could also be blocked completely.
Diagnosis of Lower urinary tract obstruction
It is possible to diagnose Lower urinary tract infection when the fetus is 14 to 16 weeks old, but nearly all of the time it is found only around the 20-24 weeks gestation when a focused ultrasound is carried out.
The size of the bladder of the fetus & the kidneys will be examined in the ultrasound if there seems to be a condition of Lower urinary tract obstruction. The amount of the amniotic fluid will also be analyzed to see for any obstruction.
Managing Lower urinary tract obstruction during pregnancy
If Lower urinary tract obstruction has been diagnosed then the severity of the condition will be checked. The baby will need attention immediately. If the case is mild then the fetus will only be kept under observation moreover, will be evaluated after it is born.
In severe cases, it could lead to dysfunction of the bladder, kidney and the lungs since all of this is key to the development. If this happens then a surgery may be the only option available.
An ultrasound will be done to examine if there is any kidney problem conversely, check if it is possible to do a fetal intervention. The surgery is aimed to let the urine flow into the amniotic sac so that the lungs and the kidneys develop.
Treatment for Lower urinary tract obstruction
In the case of a Lower urinary tract obstruction, fetal surgery could prevent or decrease the damage to the kidney and the lungs. The treatment type is dependent on where the blockage is in the urinary tract.
- Vesicoamniotic shunt
- Fetal cystoscopy
It is important to know that not all the treatments for Lower urinary tract obstruction are successful. Sometime it could happen that as of the fetus position it is difficult to detect & perform a treatment. Complications could still arise even if the treatment helps to decrease the amount of urine that is trapped in the body.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)