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Urine is normally excreted from the kidney through a tube called a ureter, which drains into the bladder and finally out of the body. But, sometimes urine backs up or remains inside the kidney or in the ureter. That's when hydronephrosis can develop.
The following are some of the most prevalent causes of hydronephrosis:
Partial blockage in the urinary tract. Blockages in the urinary system are common where the kidney enters the ureter. Blockages may develop less often where the ureter reaches the bladder.
Vesicoureteral reflux. When urine runs backward through the ureter from the bladder into the kidney, this is called vesicoureteral reflux. Urine typically flows just one direction in the ureter. The incorrect flow of urine makes it difficult for the kidney to drain correctly and causes the kidney to enlarge.
Less-common causes of hydronephrosis include kidney stones, a tumor in the abdomen or pelvis, and problems with nerves that lead to the bladder.
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