Which physical findings are characteristic of hydronephrosis and hydroureter?

Updated: Dec 16, 2020
  • Author: Dennis G Lusaya, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Physical findings include the following:

  • With severe hydronephrosis, the kidney may be palpable.
  • With bilateral hydronephrosis, lower extremity edema may occur. Costovertebral angle tenderness on the affected side is common.
  • A palpably distended bladder adds evidence of lower urinary tract obstruction.

A digital rectal examination should be performed to assess sphincter tone and to look for hypertrophy, nodules, or induration of the prostate.

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