Anterior Urethral Valves-An Unusual Cause of Hydrops Fetalis

Author(s): Sunil Joghee, Ankur Srivastava, Amelie Stritzke

Anterior Urethral Valves (AUV) are a less common cause of lower urinary tract obstruction than Posterior Urethral Valves (PUV). AUV may present with symptoms of mild to severe obstruction and renal impairment at any age. Here we report possibly the first case of AUV presenting as hydrops fetalis. This late preterm infant presented with postnatal presentation of hydrops leading to respiratory failure. There was marked ascites, a left-sided inguinal hernia and hypospadias. Immune and most non-immune causes of hydrops were ruled out. Mild hydronephrosis with poor renal function and dependency on bladder catheterization for urinary output remained. While the ascites gradually improved, the bladder outlet obstruction persisted without evidence for PUV. Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) led to suspicion of AUV which was confirmed and managed with cystoscopic valve ablation. We review the physiology, clinical presentations, treatment and outcomes of AUV in the context of a differential diagnosis based on neonatal ascites values.

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