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Nuclear Medicine in Pediatric Nephro-Urology: An Overview.

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Mendichovszky, Iosif  ORCID logo
Solar, Bernardita Troncoso 
Smeulders, Naima 
Easty, Marina 
Biassoni, Lorenzo 


In the context of ante-natally diagnosed hydronephrosis, the vast majority of children with a dilated renal pelvis do not need any surgical treatment, as the dilatation resolves spontaneously with time. Slow drainage demonstrated at Tc-99m-mercaptoacetyltriglycine (MAG3) renography does not necessarily mean obstruction. Obstruction is defined as resistance to urinary outflow with urinary stasis at the level of the pelvic-ureteric junction (PUJ) which, if left untreated, will damage the kidney. Unfortunately this definition is retrospective and not clinically helpful. Therefore, the identification of the kidney at risk of losing function in an asymptomatic patient is a major research goal. In the context of renovascular hypertension a DMSA scan can be useful before and after revascularisation procedures (angioplasty or surgery) to assess for gain in kidney function. Renal calculi are increasingly frequent in children. Whilst the vast majority of patients with renal stones do not need functional imaging, DMSA scans with SPECT and a low dose limited CT can be very helpful in the case of complex renal calculi. Congenital renal anomalies such as duplex kidneys, horseshoe kidneys, crossed-fused kidneys and multi-cystic dysplastic kidneys greatly benefit from functional imaging to identify regional parenchymal function, thus directing further management. Positron emission tomography (PET) is being actively tested in genito-urinary malignancies. Encouraging initial reports suggest that F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET is more sensitive than CT in the assessment of lymph nodal metastases in patients with genito-urinary sarcomas; an increased sensitivity in comparison to isotope bone scans for skeletal metastatic disease has also been reported. Further evaluation is necessary, especially with the promising advent of PET/MRI scanners. Nuclear Medicine in paediatric nephro-urology has stood the test of time and is opening up to new exciting developments.



Child, Diagnostic Imaging, Humans, Nephrology, Nuclear Medicine, Urology

Journal Title

Semin Nucl Med

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Elsevier BV