Spontaneous rupture of the ureter


Spontaneous rupture of the ureter is a rare complication of acute ureteric obstruction when there is non-traumatic leakage of the urine from the ureter. The diagnosis is made by contrast studies (CTU or IVU) where there is a contrast leakage around the ureter through the retroperitoneal space and a visible cause of acute distal ureteric obstruction. It is usually secondary to an obstructing ureteric stone. However, it can occur due to other causes of obstruction e.g. tumor. Urine extravasation appears as a fluid collection or stranding on non-contrast images. It is well demonstrated on delayed excretory contrast studies e.g. IVU or CT urography. Extravasation can resolve spontaneously after relieving obstruction or can progress to form a urinoma.