Utility of MR urography in children suspected of having ectopic ureter

Victor H. Figueroa, Govind B. Chavhan, Kamaldine Oudjhane, Walid Farhat

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Conventional imaging modalities are limited in the assessment of complex lower urinary tract anomalies including ectopic insertion of ureters. MR urography can be useful in these situations. Objective: To share our experience with MR urography in assessing lower urinary tract anomalies and to determine its accuracy in depicting ectopic ureters. Materials and methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all MR urography examinations done between November 2007 and March 2013 to note the presence or absence of duplex kidneys and insertion of ureters. We reviewed patient charts, surgical findings and results of other investigations including cystoscopy with retrograde ureterogram in order to establish presence or absence of ectopic ureter. This served as a reference standard against which we compared MR urography results. Results: Of 22 MR urography examinations (3 boys, 19 girls; age range 3-16 years, mean 9.2 years) performed during the study period, 19 were performed to rule out ectopic ureters, two to assess complex anatomy and one to rule out crossing vessel in ureteropelvic junction obstruction. MR urography showed ectopic ureter in 9/19 children; one proved to be a false-positive. MR urography correctly showed normal insertion in 7/19 children. In the remaining 3/19 children distal ureter could not be seen, hence insertion was indeterminate on MR urography. One of these children had an ectopic ureter on cystoscopy and surgery. Statistical analysis showed MR urography's sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) to be 88.8-100%, 70-90%, 75-88.8% and 90-100% for the detection of ectopic ureter. Conclusion: MR urography is highly accurate in the assessment of ectopic ureters. In incontinent girls, MR urography should be the method of choice for depicting or ruling out ectopic ureter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-962
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Duplex kidney
  • Ectopic ureter
  • MR urography


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