Purpose: We studied histopathological changes in kidneys with demonstrable ureteropelvic junction obstruction in relation to patient age, differential renal function and urinary tract infection. Materials and Methods: Renal biopsy was performed in 42 children (44 kidneys) with a mean age of 3 years 6 months who underwent open pyeloplasty due to ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Each specimen was examined for reversible inflammatory cell infiltration and irreversible change, including interstitial fibrosis, arteriolar thickening and glomerular sclerosis. Each pathological finding was scored 0 to 3 in increasing grades of severity, and correlated with patient age, differential renal function and history of urinary tract infection. Results: Of the 44 kidneys 20 (45%) had irreversible change. Correlation study revealed no association between patient age and histological findings, and there was no statistically significant difference in any histopathological category regardless of age. Differential renal function correlated with inflammatory cell infiltration and interstitial fibrosis. There were significantly worse histopathology scores in all categories when differential renal function was less than 30 versus 40% or greater. Interstitial fibrosis was significantly worse in the 30 to 40% group than in the greater than 40% group. The histopathological score of interstitial fibrosis was significantly higher in patients with than without urinary tract infection. Conclusions: Early correction in infants with ureteropelvic junction obstruction may not be necessary when initial differential renal function is greater than 40%. However, any decrease in differential renal function or recurrent urinary tract infections despite antibiotic prophylaxis warrant surgical correction of obstruction.
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