Management of the fetus with bilateral hydronephrosis is controversial; ability to predict outcome and efficacy of prenatal intervention are unknown. We studied 40 fetuses referred for ultrasonography, examination of fetal urine, and possible therapy. We retrospectively assigned fetuses to a good prognosis group if fetal urine was hypotonic (sodium less than 100 mEq/L, chloride less than 90 mEq/L, osmolarity less than 210 mOsm/L) and there was no ultrasonographic evidence of dysplasia; we assigned fetuses to a poor prognosis group if even one criterion was abnormal. Survival was greater in the good prognosis group than in the poor prognosis group (81% vs 12.5%; 87% vs 30%, excluding abortions) (p less than 0.005). We then attempted to assess the efficacy of prenatal urinary decompression by comparing outcome within the good and poor prognosis groups. Survival with intervention was greater in both the good prognosis group and the poor prognosis group (89% vs 70% and 30% vs 0%). In 6 of the 8 survivors in the good prognosis group, severe oligohydramnios was reversed by decompression. We conclude the fetal urine electrolyte levels and ultrasonographic appear helpful in predicting residual fetal renal function and neonatal outcome and that prenatal decompression may prevent the development of fatal pulmonary hypoplasia.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990DD89300026
View details for PubMedID 2187354