Assessment of distal ureteral and ureterovesical junction visualization on contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography

Ellen C. Benya*, Francis M. Prendergast, Dennis B. Liu, Mary R. Wyers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography (CEVUS) uses intravesically administered microbubble contrast to detect vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and urethral anomalies with ultrasound. Multiple studies have suggested CEVUS can replace voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) as a radiation-free alternative. Analysis of the ureterovesical junction and ureters on VCUG documenting the ureterovesical junction position, ureteral duplication, periureteral diverticula and ureteroceles is important as anatomical variations may affect management and surgical approach. Objective: Our purpose was to assess distal ureteral and ureterovesical junction region visualization in children with VUR detected on CEVUS. Materials and methods: CEVUS studies performed between June 2018 and March 2019 with reported VUR were retrospectively reviewed by two pediatric radiologists to confirm VUR and to qualitatively assess the ureterovesical junction region for each renal moiety using a 3-point scale for clear, limited or absent visualization of the distal ureter, ureterovesical junction, ureteral duplication, periureteral diverticula and ureteroceles. Results: Thirty-four studies with VUR on CEVUS were identified. Sixty-seven renal moieties were evaluated including a solitary kidney in one child. VUR was detected in 52 moieties by reader 1 and in 53 by reader 2. A single moiety with discrepancy between readers regarding VUR was excluded from statistical analysis. No diverticula were detected by either reader and one ureterocele was detected by both readers. Visualization of the ureterovesical junction was described as clear in 5/52, limited in 14/52 and absent in 33/52 refluxing renal moieties by reader 1 and as clear in 12/52, limited in 20/52 and absent in 20/52 by reader 2. The ureterovesical junction was clearly visualized in 5/52 (9.6%) by reader 1 and 12/52 (23.1%) by reader 2. The Kappa value of −0.29 (confidence interval [CI] −0.25, 0.21) reveals a lack of agreement between the readers for clear versus limited or absent ureterovesical junction visualization. Distal ureteral visualization was described as clear in 14/52, limited in 16/52 and absent in 22/52 refluxing renal moieties by reader 1 and as clear in 27/52, limited in 7/52 and absent in 18/52 by reader 2. The distal ureter was clearly visualized in 14/52 (26.9%) by reader 1 and 27/52 (51.9%) by reader 2. The Kappa of 0.43 (CI 0.22, 0.64) reveals moderate agreement between the readers for clear versus limited or absent distal ureteral visualization. Duplication of the renal collecting system was identified in 13/52 refluxing kidneys by reader 1 and 11/52 refluxing kidneys by reader 2. Visualization of ureteral duplication was described as clear in 9, limited in 4 and absent in 39 of 52 refluxing renal moieties by reader 1 and as clear in 9, limited in 2 and absent in 41 by reader 2. Ureteral duplication was clearly visualized in 9/52 (17.3%) by reader 1 and 9/52 (17.3%) by reader 2. Kappa of 0.87 (CI 0.68, 1) reveals high agreement between the readers for clear versus limited or absent identification of ureteral duplication. Conclusion: The distal ureter and ureterovesical junction region frequently are not clearly visualized in refluxing renal moieties on CEVUS. Awareness of this limitation is important as there may be implications when evaluating patients for surgical management of VUR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound contrast
  • Ureter
  • Ureterovesical junction
  • Vesicoureteral reflux
  • Voiding urosonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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