Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy

Alternative Names

Obstructive uropathy – bilateral – chronic; Kidney failure – chronic blockage

Definition of Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy

Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy is a long-term blockage of urine flow from both kidneys. It is a slow blockage that gets worse over time.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The most common cause of chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy is a condition called . The kidneys produce urine in the normal manner but the urine cannot leave the bladder. Urine backs up, causing kidney swelling and damage.


Symptoms depend on the nature of the obstruction and where in the urinary tract the obstruction occurs.

Signs and tests

A physical exam may show swollen or tender kidneys. The bladder may be large and full. A rectal examination may reveal an enlarged prostate. may be high.


The goal of treatment is to remove the blockage. You may need to stay in a hospital for a short while.

Expectations (prognosis)

Bilateral obstructive uropathy may be reversible if the blockage is corrected before kidney failure develops.


Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/22/2010

Bladder catheterization, female
Bladder catheterization, male

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.