Are modern imaging techniques over diagnosing ureteropelvic junction obstruction?
Since the widespread use of real-time ultrasonography in the early 1980s, ureteropelvic junction obstruction has been diagnosed at earlier ages and prenatally on a presumptive basis. However, substantial controversy exists over the diagnosis and treatment of ureteropelvic junction obstruction. We conducted an epidemiological study to determine if modern imaging techniques are leading to the over diagnosis of ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Records were collected retrospectively from 3 hospitals serving 2 adjacent counties to determine the number of pyeloplasties performed in 1970 to 1992. The 2 university hospitals and 1 large private hospital provide a wide variety of services and choice of urologists, and so it was assumed that most patients requiring pyeloplasty in the area would be captured. Of the 555 pyeloplasties 240 (43%) were performed on children 12 years old or younger. Logistic regression analysis revealed an overall increase of pyeloplasties per year of 56.8% in 23 years, which was not markedly different from the population growth in the area in the same period (49.3%). A statistically significant increase in the number of pyeloplasties performed in the first year of life was noted. This trend appeared to begin in 1981: 8 pyeloplasties were performed in the first year of life between 1970 and 1980 compared to 91 between 1981 and 1992. Pyeloplasties in children 1 to 6 years old increased with time at a much lower rate that was not statistically significant and the number of pyeloplasties decreased in those 7 to 12 years old. Therefore, it appears that modern imaging techniques are not leading to an over diagnosis of ureteropelvic junction obstruction but to detection of the disease at an earlier age.
Wiener, JS; Emmert, GK; Mesrobian, HG; Whitehurst, AW; Smith, LR; King, LR
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