LUTO Treatment Options
The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health provides comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, prenatal treatment, and delivery planning for LUTO of all types.
If a LUTO is suspected in a fetus, it is important to have a thorough assessment of the urinary tract and other fetal structures. This assessment typically starts with a detailed ultrasound examination but may also include a fetal MRI and fetal echocardiogram. Sometimes, a genetic test is also recommended to help determine any underlying causes of the condition.
Treatment of LUTO is dependent upon the severity of the obstruction and how early it was diagnosed. In some cases, the fetus may benefit from prenatal intervention to restore the amniotic fluid volume such as the placement of a vesicoamniotic shunt or infusion of fluid into the amniotic space. Each situation is unique and each family receives counseling and care that is customized to their specific situation.
Delivery planning is essential for babies with LUTO since they usually need to deliver at a center with immediate access to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Newborn babies with LUTO require evaluation and care by a multi-disciplinary team including neonatologists, pediatric urologists, pediatric nephrologists and pediatric surgeons. This team is experienced in the treatment of complex breathing problems (due to underdeveloped lungs), kidney damage (due to urine blockage), and urinary tract obstruction. Shortly after delivery, the care team will perform blood work to monitor the kidney function and may place a urinary catheter to relieve the obstruction. Long-term treatments may include surgery on the urinary tract, dialysis and possibly kidney transplantation.