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Fetal lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO) is a rare condition that is caused by a blockage of fetal urination. Because the baby cannot empty the bladder, the baby’s bladder subsequently becomes very large and inflated. Also, because the amniotic fluid is essentially composed of the baby’s urine beyond the middle of the second trimester, the bag of waters dries up. A cascade of secondary effects result in significant morbidity and/or mortality for the baby. This includes problems to the urinary collection system (hydronephrosis) and kidneys (renal dysplasia) attributed to the backpressure from the urinary blockage. Underdevelopment of the lungs (pulmonary hypoplasia) develops from the lack of amniotic fluid during a critical time of the pregnancy.
The cause of fetal LUTO is varied. The most common cause in male fetuses is posterior urethral valves (membrane blocks the flow of urine from the bladder). Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid volume...
The Texas Fetal Center
Dr. Anthony Johnson & Dr. Kenneth Moise
6410 Fannin, Suite 210
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital
Houston, TX 77030
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