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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-149  

Indirect evidence of intravesical ureterocele on 99m Tc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid scan

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication9-Mar-2016

Correspondence Address:
Ravinder Singh Sethi
Department of Nuclear Medicine, H Block, VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-3919.178328

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Ureterocele is a common ureteric anomaly detected in pediatric population. Ureterocele diagnosis and evaluation need a variety of radiological methods. We report a case of 5-year-old female child sent for 99m Tc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid scan for evaluation of glomerular filtration rate and excretory function of kidneys in view of right-sided hydroureteronephrosis and pyonephrosis with percutaneous tube in situ. Incidental photopenia was noted in the urinary bladder. On ultrasonography of abdomen cause of this photopenia was found to be an intravesical ureterocele.

Keywords: 99m Tc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid scan, intravesical ureterocele, photopenia

How to cite this article:
Kumar D, Sethi RS, Misra R, Ali M. Indirect evidence of intravesical ureterocele on 99m Tc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid scan. Indian J Nucl Med 2016;31:147-9

How to cite this URL:
Kumar D, Sethi RS, Misra R, Ali M. Indirect evidence of intravesical ureterocele on 99m Tc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid scan. Indian J Nucl Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Jan 19];31:147-9. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Ureterocele is a congenital urinary abnormality characterized by the presence of an intrabladder hernia or cystic ballooning of the lower end of a ureter lying between the mucosa and muscle of the bladder. The abnormality leads to urinary retention and recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), which can cause irreversible damage to the kidney. This abnormality can be suspected in the fetus by antenatal ultrasonography (USG) and confirmed by other X-ray investigations after birth. [1]

The incidence of ureterocele is variable with the highest rate of 1:500 and it is generally found in females with duplex system association (95%). [2],[3] Ureteroceles can have different clinical presentations, such as antenatal hydronephrosis, UTI, vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), bladder outlet obstruction, prolapsed urethral mass, etc. [4] Ureterocele diagnosis and thorough evaluation needs a variety of radiological methods. USG and voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) are essential initial procedures for a child suspected of having a ureteral anomaly. [2],[4],[5]

   Case Report Top

A 5-year-old female child was referred to our department for 99m Tc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) scan. She was a follow-up case of right-sided hydroureteronephrosis with pyonephrosis with percutaneous tube (PCN) insertion done on the right side. Patient's blood urea and serum creatinine were 29 and 1.3 mg/dL, respectively. Urine routine microscopy revealed 14-16 pus cells per high power field. USG of the abdomen revealed left-sided mild hydroureteronephrosis and gross enlargement of the right kidney, reaching up to lower abdomen with dilated pelvis and ureter. The child was referred for evaluation of glomerular filtration rate and excretory function of kidneys. 99m Tc-DTPA scan was done in our department with right PCN tube in situ. PCN tube was clamped during the acquisition of dynamic and prevoid static image and clamp released thereafter.

On 99m Tc-DTPA scan, left kidney showed good perfusion and adequate cortical radiotracer concentration followed by good drainage into dilated ureter. Right kidney showed reduced perfusion and poor cortical radiotracer concentration [Figure 1]. Right ureter and right pelvicalyceal system (PCS) were visualized in the postvoid image (indirect evidence of VUR) [[Figure 2]b, thin arrow]. Retention of radiotracer was noted in dilated PCS and dilated ureter in delayed static images acquired till 4 h [Figure 2]c and d. Faint visualization of radiotracer was noted through the PCN tube after removal of clamp [[Figure 2]b, bold arrow]. A large photopenia was noted in the suprapubic region in the urinary bladder (UB) during dynamic [Figure 1] as well as delayed static images acquired till 4 h [Figure 2]a-d. This prompted us to investigate the case further. An USG of the abdomen was done in the radiology department of our hospital to find out the cause of this persistent photopenia in the UB. USG of the abdomen showed evidence of left-sided mild hydroureteronephrosis and grossly enlarged hydronephrotic right kidney with dilated right ureter and an intracystic ureterocele arising from the right side [Figure 3]a and b.
Figure 1: Perfusion and dynamic images of 99mTc-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid scan scintigraphy, posterior view with percutaneous clamp in situ, showing good perfusion and adequate cortical function and good drainage of left kidney. Right kidney showing poor perfusion and poor cortical function (thin arrow). Photopenia noted in the urinary bladder (bold arrow)

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Figure 2: (a) Prevoid static image with right PCN clamp in situ. Photopenia noted in the urinary bladder (arrow marked). (b) Postvoid static image after releasing clamp from the PCN tube. Right ureter and right pelvicalyceal system visualization is noted suggesting indirect evidence of vesico-ureteric reflux (thin arrow). Faint visualization of tracer is noted through the PCN tube (bold arrow). (c and d) 3 and 4 h delayed static images showing persistent photopenia in the urinary bladder (arrow marked)

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Figure 3: (a and b) Ultrasonography images depicting right ureterocele within the urinary bladder (UB) and dilated distal right ureter

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   Discussion Top

According to literature, 90% of the patients with ureterocele are diagnosed before the age of 3 years. [6] Most of the patients with ureterocele are classically diagnosed during the investigation for UTI, asymptomatic hydronephrosis, and abdominal mass. [4] Although the age of diagnosis is decreasing, UTI is still the most common clinical presentation of ureterocele in 50% of the patients promoting physician to make the thorough evaluation of the urinary system. [2],[6] The whole nephronourinary system could have already been negatively affected at the time of diagnosis. In our case, the ipsilateral kidney had a poor cortical function. USG is an easy method to perform, noninvasive, and probably the best imaging modality for making the diagnosis. [3] USG scan is able to catch the lesions which are not obvious on VCUG. [4] VCUG is used for ureterocele diagnosis and detection of VUR. Reflux can occur in the ipsilateral lower pole in almost half of the patients, but the contralateral system is also affected at a rate of 25%. [2],[3],[4],[7]

The 99m Tc-Dimercapto succinic acid (DMSA) scan should be undertaken routinely to assess the distribution of function in the duplex kidney and for detecting and follow-up of scarred tissue and nonfunctioning upper poles in cases of ureterocele. [2],[5],[8],[9]

Günsar et al.[10] did a study on pediatric ureteroceles in 19 patients, on the diagnosis, management and treatment options. USG showed cystic lesion in the UB in 13 out of 17 patients. Intravenous urography showed ureterocele in 8 out of 12 patients. VCUG was able to detect VUR in 13 out of 17 patients (33%). DMSA scintigraphy showed ipsilateral renal scarring and nonfunctioning upper pole images in 7 out of 13 patients. Computed tomography and MAG 3 scintigraphy were done only in one patient for differential diagnosis of hydronephrotic mass and obstruction.

Chowdhary et al.[11] did a study on the management of 36 patients with varied presentation of complicated ureteroceles. USG, micturating cystourethrogram, isotope renogram were done preoperatively in all the babies. In one of the cases, DTPA scan showed nonfunctioning kidney on the side of ureterocele. Initial USG was unable to detect ureterocele in most of the cases in this study. They said that unless the USG is done in well-hydrated, cooperative patient, ureterocele is likely to be missed on USG. Hence, an intravenous pyelogram, radioisotope renogram, and micturating cystourethrogram are invaluable in the complete understanding of ureterocele.

In our patient also, the diagnosis of ureterocele was missed on initial USG. Photopenia was noted in the UB on our scan, and this prompted us to investigate the patient further. Possible causes for photopenic defects in the UB on nuclear scintigraphic studies include bladder papilloma, bladder polyp, carcinoma bladder, bladder calculus, foreign body in UB, intravesical ureterocele, etc. Repeat USG revealed the cause of photopenia in UB in our case to be an intravesical ureterocele.

On reviewing the literature we found that 99m Tc-DTPA scan is useful in the evaluation of renal function in patient with known ureteroceles. [11] However, in our case on finding the photopenia in the UB on 99m Tc-DTPA scan, intravesical ureterocele was detected on USG.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Farrokh D. Early diagnosis of congenital ureterocele. J Belge Radiol 1992;75:25-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Keating MA. Ureteral duplication anomalies: Ectopic ureters and ureteroceles. In: Docimo GD, Canning DA, Khoury AE, editors. Kelalis-King-Belman Textbook Clinical Pediatric Urology. 5 th ed. United Kingdom: Informa Healthcare; 2007. p. 593-648.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cooper SC, Snyder HM 3 rd . The ureter. In: Gillenwater JY, Grayhack JT, Howards SS, Mitchell ME, editors. Adult and Pediatric Urology. 4 th ed., Vol. 3. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2002. p. 2155-87.  Back to cited text no. 3
Boston VE. Ureteral duplication and ureteroceles. In: Grosfeld JL, O'Neill JA, Fonkalsrud EW, Coran AG, editors. Pediatric Surgery. 6 th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby; 2006. p. 1758-71.  Back to cited text no. 4
Shokeir AA, Nijman RJ. Ureterocele: An ongoing challenge in infancy and childhood. BJU Int 2002;90:777-83.  Back to cited text no. 5
Caldamone AA, Snyder HM 3 rd , Duckett JW. Ureteroceles in children: Followup of management with upper tract approach. J Urol 1984;131:1130-2.  Back to cited text no. 6
Coplen DE. Ureteral obstruction and malformations. In: Ashcraft KW, Holcomb GW 3 rd , Murphy JP, editors. Pediatric Surgery. 4 th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2005. p. 732-47.  Back to cited text no. 7
Rickwood AM, Madden NP, Boddy SM. Duplication anomalies, ureteroceles and ectopic ureters. In: Thomas DF, Duffy PG, Rickwood AM, editors. Essentials of Paediatric Urology. 2 nd ed. United Kingdom: Informa Healthcare; 2008. p. 93-109.  Back to cited text no. 8
Connolly LP, Connolly SA, Drubach LA, Zurakowski D, Ted Treves S. Ectopic ureteroceles in infants with prenatal hydronephrosis: Use of renal cortical scintigraphy. Clin Nucl Med 2002;27:169-75.  Back to cited text no. 9
Günsar C, Mir E, Sencan A, Ertan P, Ozcan Cü. Pediatric ureteroceles: Diagnosis, management and treatment options. Iran J Pediatr 2010;20:413-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
Chowdhary SK, Kandpal DK, Sibal A, Srivastava RN. Management of complicated ureteroceles: Different modalities of treatment and long-term outcome. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2014;19:156-61.  Back to cited text no. 11
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