Sonographic diagnosis of ureteral tumors.
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We present our experience with transabdominal ultrasonographic diagnosis of ureteral tumors. During the years 1989 to 1998, 16 patients were diagnosed as having ureteral tumors. These patients were referred for sonographic examination for evaluation of hematuria (seven patients) or flank pain (four patients) or for follow-up screening in patients who were asymptomatic but at high risk for transitional cell carcinoma because of known past bladder tumor (five patients). Ten of these patients underwent intravenous urography examination, three patients had retrograde pyelography, and 11 patients underwent CT scanning. Ultrasonography revealed the ureteral tumors in all 16 patients, which appeared as hypoechoic intraluminal soft tissue. Three tumors were localized in the upper ureter, four in the middle ureter, and nine in the distal ureter. The degree of ureterohydronephrosis was minimal (two cases), mild (five cases), moderate (eight cases), or severe (one case). Eleven tumors caused local widening of the ureteral diameter. On intravenous urography, four patients had a nonfunctioning kidney, three patients had unexplained ureterohydronephrosis, and three patients showed ureteral filling defects, of which only two had irregular contours. On retrograde pyelography, two patients had filling defects (one of which with smooth margins), and one had a truncated ureter. On CT the tumor was clearly demonstrated in only seven patients. We found that ultrasonography can be a useful diagnostic tool in the workup of ureteral tumors.
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