Fistulas of the Genitourinary Tract: A Radiologic Review
RadioGraphics 2004; 24:1331-1352.
Yu NC, Raman SS, Patel M, Barbaric Z.
Fistulas of the genitourinary tract have diverse anatomic locations, causes, and clinical features. They can involve the upper urinary tract (kidney, ureter), the lower urinary tract (bladder, urethra), or the female reproductive tract (vagina, uterus). Causes include infection, inflammatory disease, neoplasms, congenital conditions, trauma, and iatrogenic injury. Diagnosis of genitourinary tract fistulas usually requires radiologic studies performed with fluoroscopic or cross-sectional modalities. Fistulography is the most direct means of visualizing a fistula and should be considered when feasible (eg, cutaneous fistulas). Intravenous urography and pyelography or ureterography are mainstays of investigation of the upper tract. Likewise, voiding cystoure-thrography and urethrography are central to study of the lower tract. Cross-sectional techniques, in particular computed tomography, are increasingly useful for diagnosis and are considered the primary test in some cases. Radiologists should be familiar with the radiologic features of genitourinary tract fistulas for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Management approaches depend on the type of fistula, the degree of morbidity, and the overall functional status of the patient and vary from conservative observation to aggressive surgical repair.