F. Nino, M. Ilari, C. Noviello, L. Santoro, I.M. Ratsch, A. Martino and G. Cobellis Pages 70 - 79 ( 10 )
Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is the retrograde passage of urine from the bladder to the upper urinary tract. It is the most common congenital urological anomaly affecting 1-2% of children and 30-40% of patients with urinary tract infections. VUR is a major risk factor for pyelonephritic scarring and chronic renal failure in children. It is the result of a shortened intravesical ureter with an enlarged or malpositioned ureteric orifice. An ectopic embryonal ureteric budding development is implicated in the pathogenesis of VUR, which is a complex genetic developmental disorder. Many genes are involved in the ureteric budding formation and subsequently in the urinary tract and kidney development. Previous studies demonstrate an heterogeneous genetic pattern of VUR. In fact no single major locus or gene for primary VUR has been identified. It is likely that different forms of VUR with different genetic determinantes are present. Moreover genetic studies of syndromes with associated VUR have revealed several possible candidate genes involved in the pathogenesis of VUR and related urinary tract malformations. Mutations in genes essential for urinary tract morphogenesis are linked to numerous congenital syndromes, and in most of those VUR is a feature. The Authors provide an overview of the developmental processes leading to the VUR. The different genes and signaling pathways controlling the embryonal urinary tract development are analyzed. A better understanding of VUR genetic bases could improve the management of this condition in children.
Genetic association, Genetic linkage, Prune belly syndrome, Ureteric bud, Uretero-vesical junction, Vesicoureteral reflux.
Pediatric Surgery Unit-Salesi Children's Hospital-University of Marche, Via Corridoni 11, Ancona, Italy.