What is ureteral duplication?

Ureteral duplication occurs when a child is born with two ureters attached to a kidney instead of one. The ureter is the tube that drains urine from the kidney into the bladder. Ureteral duplication is a condition that a baby is born with and is more common in girls than in boys. It can occur in one or both kidneys.

Children born with ureteral duplication may also have a related conditions. These may include hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney), ureterocele (abnormal insertion of ureter into bladder obstructing flow), ectopic ureter (ureter enters bladder or, in girls, vagina at abnormal location), or VUR (urine refluxes from bladder toward kidney).

What are the signs and symptoms of ureteral duplication?

Many children do not have any symptoms. In some cases, ureteral duplication may be diagnosed by a prenatal ultrasound before birth.

If you child does have symptoms, they may include:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Leakage of urine or incontinence

What causes ureteral duplication?

Experts don’t know what causes ureteral duplication. In some cases, the condition may run in families.

How is ureteral duplication treated?

Your child’s treatment will depend on their specific symptoms and how the ureteral duplication affects their urinary system. Some children may not need any treatment. The Division of Urology at Arkansas Children’s is experienced in treating ureteral duplication and will work with you to come up with the best treatment plan for your child.

Possible treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics to treat or prevent urinary tract infections
  • Observation of the condition over time
  • Surgery to re-route or remove some of the ureter