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A ureterocele is a congenital abnormality found in the ureter. In this condition the distal ureter balloons at its opening into the bladder, forming a sac-like pouch. It is most often associated with a duplicated collection system, where two ureters drain their respective kidney instead of one. Simple ureterocele, where the condition involves only a single ureter, represents only twenty percent of cases. Ureterocele affects one in 4,000 individuals, at least four-fifths of whom are female. Patients are frequently Caucasian.

Ultrasound Scan ND 459.jpg
Classification and external resources
Specialty urology
ICD-10 N28.8
ICD-9-CM 593.89, 753.23
DiseasesDB 33455
MedlinePlus 000462
eMedicine radio/729
MeSH D014518

Since the advent of the ultrasound, most ureteroceles are diagnosed prenatally. The pediatric and adult conditions are often found incidentally, i.e. through diagnostic imaging performed for unrelated reasons.



Confined within the bladder
Some part extends to the bladder neck or urethra
Intravesical ureterocele with a narrow opening
Ectopic ureterocele with an orifice distal to the bladder neck
Orifice is both stenotic and distal to the bladder neck
Ectopic ureterocele that extends into the urethra, but the orifice is in the bladder

Signs and symptomsEdit

CT scan showing a ureterocele associated with a duplicated collection system of the left kidney.

The signs and symptoms of ureterocele in the latter two forms can easily be confused with other medical conditions. Symptoms can include:


Many other complications arise from ureteroceles. Redundant collection systems are usually smaller in diameter than single, and predispose the patient to impassable kidney stones. The effective "bladder within a bladder" compounds this problem by increasing the collision of uric acid particles, the process by which uric acid stones are formed. Ureterocele is also associated with poor kidney function. It can cause frequent blockage of the ureter leading to serious kidney damage. In other cases, a small, upper portion of the kidney is congenitally non-functional. Though often benign, this problem can necessitate the removal of non-functioning parts.


Definitive causes of ureterocele have not been found. While the abnormal growth occurs within the uterus, it has not been substantiated that genetics are to blame.[citation needed] Congenital abnormalities of the mesonephric duct in males can lead to the formation of a ureterocele, which often coincide with ipsilateral agenesis of the kidney (atrophic kidney) and seminal vesicle cysts, this is known as Zinner Syndrome.[1]


  • Single-system ureterocele: initial management is usually endoscopic incision of the ureterocele, which can be followed by surgical ureteric re-implantation to preserve renal function and prevent reflux.
  • Duplex-system ureterocele: treatment options vary with the individual and include: endoscopic incision of the corresponding ureteric orifice in case of ureteric meatal stricture; upper pole nephrectomy for a poorly functioning unit with ureterectomy or, where there is useful renal function, ureteropyelostomy.


Further readingEdit

  • Hautmann, Huland: Urologie, 3.Auflage, Springer Verlag 2006, S397 f (in German)
  • W. Schuster, D. Färber (Hrsg.): Kinderradiologie. Bildgebende Diagnostik. Springer 1996, ISBN 3-540-60224-0 (in German)
  • M. Bettex, N. Genton, M. Stockmann (Hrsg.): Kinderchirurgie. Diagnostik, Indikation, Therapie, Prognose. 2. Auflage, Thieme 1982, ISBN 3-13-338102-4 (in German)
  • V. Hofmann, K. H. Deeg, P. F. Hoyer: Ultraschalldiagnostik in Pädiatrie und Kinderchirurgie. Lehrbuch und Atlas. Thieme 2005, ISBN 3-13-100953-5. (in German)
  • F. C. Sitzmann: Kinderheilkunde. Diagnostik - Therapie - Prophylaxe. 6. Auflage, Hippokrates 1988, ISBN 3-7773-0827-7. (in German)