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Hydronephrosis (HN)

Hydronephrosis—literally "water inside the kidney"—refers to distension and dilation of the renal pelvis and calyces, usually caused by obstruction of the free flow of urine from the kidney. Untreated, it leads to progressive atrophy of the kidney. One or both kidneys may be affected. In cases of hydroureteronephrosis, there is distention of both the ureter and the renal pelvis and calices. Hydronephrosis is the result of any of several abnormal pathophysiological occurrences. Structural abnormalities of the junctions between the kidney, ureter, and bladder that lead to hydronephrosis can occur during fetal development. Some of these congenital defects have been identified as inherited conditions, however the benefits of linking genetic testing to early diagnosis have not been determined.