Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Back pain/Kidneys Misdiagnosed

Posted In: Medical Stories 0 Replies
  • Posted By: aands1200
  • January 21, 2007
  • 06:41 PM

I would just like to share this with others. Maybe it can be of help to someone else with simliar symptoms.

My Mom, 59 yoa, sufferred from lower back pain for over a year before being properly diagnosed. By the time she was diagnosed, her kidneys shut down, her blood pressure was 200/130, in pain and sick. The diagnosis was Retroperitoneal Fibrosis, a rare disorder. She had surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital by a Doctor with experience and knowledge of this condition. Today she is well though she did suffer permanent kidney damage. For this reason she must be careful with her diet, and maintains scheduled medical follow-ups. We are both grateful to this skilled physician who saved her life.

Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare disorder caused by an excess of fibrous tissue in the area just behind the stomach. Doctors don't know why these masses form. It is most common in people aged 40 - 60, and men are twice as likely to develop them as women.
The disorder may cause chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy or chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy, which result when the fibrous mass blocks the ureters.The symptoms are caused by the obstruction of the ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
Symptoms Return to top
Early symptoms:
Dull pain in the abdomen that increases with time
Swelling of one leg
Decreased circulation in the legs leading to pain and discoloration
Severe abdominal pain with hemorrhage due to ischemic bowelLater symptoms:
Decreased urine output
Total lack of urine (anuria)
Nausea, vomiting, changes in thinking caused by kidney failure and the resulting build-up of toxic chemicals in the blood.Signs and tests Return to top
Serum BUN and creatinine showing elevated levels
Kidney ultrasound showing hydronephrosis (distention of the kidney pelvis because of fluid accumulation) and a mass
Excretory urography showing compression and deviation of the ureters
Abdominal CT scan (the best test to reveal the retroperitoneal mass)
MRI (compares well to the CT scan)
Biopsy showing either retroperitoneal fibrosis or a cancerous tumor

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