How is a Megaureter Diagnosed?

If your child gets a urinary tract infection , or other symptoms that could be signs of a megaureter, check with your health care provider. A urologist will likely do tests to check how his/her urinary tract is working. Tests used to diagnosis megaureters are:


Ultrasound, also known as sonography, uses sound waves bouncing off organs in the body to make a picture of what's inside. This painless imaging test is often done to check how the kidney, ureters, and bladder look. Ultrasound is very good at finding widened ureters. In fact, while sonography rarely picks up normal ureters because of their narrowed size, it makes excellent images of dilated ones.

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)

A VCUG is an x-ray test done to look for vesicoureteral reflux. A small tube ("catheter") is slid through the urethra into the bladder. A special dye is dripped into the bladder through the tube while x-rays are taken. If there's reflux, the x-ray will show the dye flowing back into the ureter.

Diuretic Renal Scans

Diuretic renal (kidney) scans are used to check for blocks. This test is done by injecting a radioactive liquid into a vein, which then goes to the kidneys. A computer determines how each kidney is working. The renal scan also tells if a blockage is present. If the kidney's working, a block that could cause a problem isn't likely.

Magnetic Resonance of the Urinary Tract (MR-U)

MR-U uses magnetic fields to make pictures of what's inside the body. This test shows the urinary tract even better than ultrasound or diuretic renal scans. MR-U involves injecting dye and getting pictures of the urinary tract using magnetic fields. This test isn't often used for small children because it calls for sedation or general anesthesia.