Caliceal Diverticula in Children: Natural History and Management

Carlos R. Estrada, Sanchari Datta, Francis X. Schneck, Stuart B. Bauer, Craig A Peters, Alan B. Retik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: The natural history of caliceal diverticula in children is unknown. We review our series of children with caliceal diverticula to examine the presentation, natural history and management. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 22 children presenting with caliceal diverticula between 1983 and 2006. All pertinent clinical data were recorded, including demographics, imaging studies, treatment and clinical outcome. Results: A total of 22 children had 23 caliceal diverticula. There were 14 girls and 8 boys who presented at a mean age of 5.4 ± 3.1 years (range 0.2 to 12). At clinical presentation 10 patients had febrile urinary tract infection, 2 had hematuria, 2 had abdominal pain, 1 had flank pain and 8 were asymptomatic. Mean diameter of all caliceal diverticula was 2.2 ± 1.7 cm. All patients underwent voiding cystourethrogram. Two patients (9%) had concomitant ipsilateral caliceal diverticula and vesicoureteral reflux. A total of 10 patients with caliceal diverticula (43%) were treated at a mean of 3.0 ± 2.3 years after initial presentation due to symptomatic enlargement in 5, symptomatic calculus in 3, complicated abscess in 1 and urosepsis in 1. Treatment modalities included percutaneous ablation, open marsupialization/ablation, partial nephrectomy and laparoscopic marsupialization/ablation. There were no recurrences during a mean followup of 3.1 ± 2.9 years (range 0.1 to 10.1) in these 10 patients. In the 13 caliceal diverticula (57%) that were observed mean followup was 6 ± 3.7 years (range 1.2 to 10.5). These caliceal diverticula were stable in size and remained asymptomatic. Conclusions: Caliceal diverticula in children are rare. Most caliceal diverticula remain stable and asymptomatic but approximately 20% may have symptomatic enlargement that may warrant surgical management. Given the morbidity associated with caliceal diverticula and concomitant vesicoureteral reflux, evaluation for ipsilateral reflux is mandatory. Overall approximately 43% of children with caliceal diverticula require surgical intervention, and various treatment options are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1306-1311
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • diverticulum
  • kidney
  • pediatrics
  • urinary tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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    Estrada, C. R., Datta, S., Schneck, F. X., Bauer, S. B., Peters, C. A., & Retik, A. B. (2009). Caliceal Diverticula in Children: Natural History and Management. Journal of Urology, 181(3), 1306-1311.