Excessive urinary tract dilatation and proteinuria in pregnancy: A common and overlooked association?

BMC Nephrology (Impact Factor: 1.69). 02/2013; 14(1):52. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2369-14-52
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Proteinuria and dilatation of the urinary tract are both relatively common in pregnancy, the latter with a spectrum of symptoms, from none to severe pain and infection. Proteinuria is a rare occurrence in acute obstructive nephropathy; it has been reported in pregnancy, where it may pose a challenging differential diagnosis with pre-eclampsia.The aim of the present study is to report on the incidence of proteinuria (>=0.3; >=0.5 g/day) in association with symptomatic-severe urinary tract dilatation in pregnancy. METHODS: Case series. Setting: Nephrological-Obstetric Unit dedicated to pregnancy and kidney diseases (January 2000-April 2011). Source: database prospectively updated since the start of the Unit. Retrospective review of clinical charts identified as relevant on the database, by a nephrologist and an obstetrician. RESULTS: From January 2000 to April 2011, 262 pregnancies were referred. Urinary tract dilatation with or without infection was the main cause of referral in 26 cases (predominantly monolateral in 19 cases): 23 singletons, 1 lost to follow-up, 1 twin and 1 triplet. Patients were referred for urinary tract infection (15 cases) and/or renal pain (10 cases); 6 patients were treated by urologic interventions ("JJ" stenting). Among them, 11 singletons and 1 triple pregnancy developed proteinuria >=0.3 g/day (46.1%). Proteinuria was >=0.5 g/day in 6 singletons (23.1%). Proteinuria resolved after delivery in all cases. No patient developed hypertension; in none was an alternative cause of proteinuria evident. No significant demographic difference was observed in patients with renal dilatation who developed proteinuria versus those who did not. An association with the presence of "JJ" stenting was present (5/6 cases with proteinuria >=0.5 g/day), which may reflect both severer obstruction and a role for vescico-ureteral reflux, induced by the stent. CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic urinary tract dilatation may be associated with proteinuria in pregnancy. This association should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis with other causes of proteinuria in pregnancy, including pre-eclampsia.

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Available from: Andrea Veltri, Dec 31, 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Proteinuria is a frequently detected symptom, found in 20% of pregnancies. A common reason for proteinuria in pregnancy is preeclampsia. To diagnose preeclampsia clinically and to get new insights into the pathophysiology of the disease it is at first essential to be familiar with conditions in normal pregnancy. Animal models and biomarkers can help to learn more about disease conditions and to find new treatment strategies. In this article we review the changes in kidney function during normal pregnancy and the differential diagnosis of proteinuria in pregnancy. We summarize different pathophysiological theories of preeclampsia with a special focus on the renal facets of the disease. We describe the current animal models and give a broad overview of different biomarkers that were reported to predict preeclampsia or have a prognostic value in preeclampsia cases. We end with a summary of treatment options for preeclampsia related symptoms including the use of plasmapheresis as a rescue therapy for so far refractory preeclampsia. Most of these novel biomarkers for preeclampsia are not yet implemented in clinical use. Therefore, we recommend using proteinuria (measured by UPC ratio) as a screening parameter for preeclampsia. Delivery is the only curative treatment for preeclampsia. In early preeclampsia the primary therapy goal is to prolong pregnancy until a state were the child has an acceptable chance of survival after delivery.
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