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The bladder ran dry: bilateral ureteral obstruction
  1. Ami Schattner1,2,
  2. Yosef Drahy2,
  3. Ina Dubin2
  1. 1Hebrew University and Hassadah Faculty of Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel
  2. 2Laniado Hospital, Sanz Medical Centre, Netanya, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ami Schattner, amischatt{at}


A relatively young healthy man (barring obesity and distant gouty arthritis) was admitted with severe acute kidney injury (serum creatinine, 15.9 mg/dL) following acute gastroenteritis and occasional use of diclofenac. Abdominal ultrasound revealed mild left hydronephrosis due to staghorn stone and normal right kidney. Soon after, complete anuria necessitating haemodialysis developed without pain or evidence of infection. CT imaging revealed stones obstructing the right ureter. Following urological surgery, postobstructive diuresis developed and the serum creatinine came down to near normal. The stones were identified as uric acid stones.

Anuria has a relatively narrow differential and painless (partially non-dilated) bilateral ureteral obstruction is a distinctly unusual cause. A review of the literature to cover all reported causes of bilateral ureteral obstruction is presented. Only a minority of cases were not associated with an underlying malignant disease or its treatment. The multifactorial aetiology of the patient's acute kidney injury (volume depletion, diclofenac and obstructive uropathy) is presented and discussed.

  • Emergency medicine
  • Radiology
  • Acute renal failure
  • Urological surgery

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  • Contributors ID and Dr Gelber treated the patient and contributed to the paper.

    YD analysed the imaging.

    AS treated the patient and performed the literature search and wrote the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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