SynopsisCodesDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsReferences
Ureteral stricture
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Ureteral stricture

Contributors: Michael W. Winter MD, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Ureteral stricture is distinguished by narrowing of the ureteral lumen resulting in obstruction of urinary flow. Ureteral strictures may be classified as extrinsic or intrinsic, benign or malignant, and iatrogenic or noniatrogenic. Typical clinical symptoms include flank and/or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and infection. However, some patients may be asymptomatic.

Ureteral stricture is most commonly caused by congenital or acquired ureteropelvic junction obstruction or narrowing. Causes include previous treatment of urologic condition, pelvic radiation therapy, urinary diversion surgery, kidney stone passage, renal transplantation, trauma, congenital anomalies, and certain cancers.

Early detection may help prevent severe renal complications. Treatment varies depending on the cause and type of ureteral stricture and should be individualized to the patient. For strictures that develop acutely after trauma, surgery may be suggested. For strictures that develop chronically, endoscopy may be suggested.


N13.5 – Crossing vessel and stricture of ureter without hydronephrosis

25341005 – Stricture of ureter

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Urinary retention / Neurogenic bladder
  • Drug side effects (eg, Anticholinergic syndrome)
  • Renal calculus / urolithiasis (Urinary bladder calculus, Ureteral calculus)
  • Malignancy (particularly urothelial, Renal cell carcinoma, Prostate cancer)
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Radiation side effect
  • Urethral meatal stenosis
  • Urethral stricture
  • Trauma
  • Spinal cord lesion
  • Radiculopathy (eg, Lumbar radiculopathy)
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Tertiary syphilis
  • Parkinson disease and Parkinsonism

Best Tests

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Last Updated:04/27/2023
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Ureteral stricture
A medical illustration showing key findings of Ureteral stricture : Flank pain, Hematuria, Urinary frequency, Urinary retention
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.