Predicting Obstructive Hydronephrosis

Hydronephrosis is a common prenatal ultrasound finding (one to five per cent of fetuses) showing dilatation of the kidney. Outcomes for these patients vary widely. The majority (about 70 per cent) of these patients resolve without intervention while the remainder require medical and/or surgical intervention to avoid long-term renal damage. Currently, to determine which patients to intervene on, ultrasound and invasive tests are performed and reviewed by specialists in repeated clinic visits, making hydronephrosis a common and costly condition to manage.

To assist in this decision-making process, SickKids innovators have created a tool to automatically access ultrasounds from these patients to determine if surgical intervention will be indicated. This tool is being tested for prospective accuracy at SickKids as well as for its use in other institutes, including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Stanford Children’s Hospital.