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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-58

Recurrent chyluria

1 Department of Urology, CMC Vellore, Tamilnadu, India
2 Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
M S Ansari
Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.24657

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Recurrent chyluria is a common public health problem in the areas known for filarial endemicity. Recurrence is highest with the conservative treatment. These patients should be evaluated carefully since release of chyle from the contralateral side may be mistaken with the failure of the treatment. The most common procedure practiced is the resclerotherapy. Patients failing to second courses of sclerothrapy with significant chyluria (weight loss, heavy proteinuria and anemia) should be treated with chylolymphatic disconnection. Before the advent of sclerotherapy and chylolymphatic disconnection more formidable procedure like nephrectomy has been described for recurrent chyluria. In India, procedures such as microsurgical lymph venous anatomists and autotransplantation have rarely been described.

Keywords: Autotransplantation, chylolymphatic disconnection, chyluria, sclerotherapy

How to cite this article:
Pandey A P, Ansari M S. Recurrent chyluria. Indian J Urol 2006;22:56-8

How to cite this URL:
Pandey A P, Ansari M S. Recurrent chyluria. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2006 [cited 2022 Dec 10];22:56-8. Available from:

The disease of chyluria has a unique unpredictable course associated with remission and exacerbation. It can lead to considerable weakness and weight loss especially when it is chronic and recurrent.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Recurrence is defined as the relapse of chyluria after a period of initial clearance.[6] Recurrence of chyluria may be on account of the leakage of chyle from the contralateral side or from the same unit previously treated.[6],[7],[8] Recurrence of chyluria is highest with the conservative treatment, i.e. dietary modification and antifilarial drugs which have been reported as high as 80%.[7] Recurrence after renal pelvic instillation resclerotherapy (RPIS) has been reported between 13 and 41% at a follow-up of 2-115 months.[6],[7],[9],[10] Remission is the period of lessening of intensity of chyluiria and this period may last for few weeks to few months. Failure of treatment is defined as the persistence of chyluria from the treated unit. Immediate failure has been reported between 10 and 20% after the first course of RPIS.[6],[7] Occurrence of chyluria from the contraletral site in immediate postintervention period should not be mistaken with the failure of the treatment. Some of the important causes of recurrent chyluria are described in [Table - 1].

Indications for surgical intervention

Patients having persistent chyluria, clot colic, retention of urine, hypoprotenemia, progressive weakness and weight loss despite conservative management and sclerotherapy need surgical intervention.[5],[13],[14],[15] Recurrent chyluria is a disturbing situation as this not only affects the psyche of the patient but also affects the economy depending on the severity of the disease. The main stays of the treatment are resclerotherapy, open or laparocopic chylolymphatic disconnection, microsurgical lympho-venous anastomosis and autotransplantation [Table - 2]. [9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20] A simple algorithm for the treatment of recurrent chyluria is given [Figure - 1].

Renal pelvic re-instillation sclerotherapy

Renal pelvic instillation resclerotherapy (RPIS) along with diethyl carbamazine is the treatment most frequently used. In sclerotherapy the various agents used are 10-25% bromide, 50% glucose-saline, 1-2% silver nitrate or 0.2% povidone iodine. The cumulative success rate after two courses of RPIS has been reported up to 82% in the silver nitrate and 83% in the povidone group.[6] Second course should be repeated after a gape of 3 months. Second time instillation may be of the same scloresant or a different agent, i.e. povidone iodine followed by povidone iodine or silver nitrate followed by povidone iodine or vice versa. Patients failing second course of RPIS with significant chyluria should be treated with chylolymphatic disconnection or microsurgical procedures like lympho-venous or lympmhnodo-venous anastomosis.[6],[8]

Chylolymphatic disconnection

The procedure of open chylolymphatic disconnection was first reported by Dr. Phani Bhushan Prasad.[11] Now the same procedure is commonly known as Patna operation, in which the areolar tissue containing dilated lymphatics traveling to the kidney in the perirenal and hilar region is dissected and divided between ligatures, thus stripping these structures completely.

The kidney is exposed through an extraperitoneal flank approach. The renal fascia containing fat, areolar tissue and lymphatic plexus is dissected and stripped from entire kidney surface dividing it in between ligatures. Lymphatics along the renal artery and vein are also ligated and divided. The renal pelvis and upper ureter are bared in the similar manner. In cases of bilateral disease only one side is operated at a time. The overall success rate was up to 98% at a follow-up of 1-15 years.[5],[11] Now a days open chylolymphatic disconnection is less commonly practiced as the same procedure is now done by less invasive retroperitoneoscopic technique with equally impressive results.[8]

Lympho-venous anastomosis

This is the most physiological method of surgical correction for recurrent chyluria.[17],[18],[19],[20] The procedure increases the drainage of lymph into venous system, which rapidly decreases the intralymphatic pressure. Thus facilitating the healing of pyelo-lymphatic fistulae. The procedure is technically cumbersome as lymphatics are difficult to identify, lymphatic channels are thin, brittle and liable to collapse, which requires microsurgical expertise.

Retro-peritoneal lympho-venous anastomosis

The technique was described by Cockett and Goodwin.[20] Jiang and Hu (1982) treated 29 patients of chyluria with retroperitoneal lympho-venous anastomosis (RPLVA). At a follow-up of 1-14 years, 24 patients were cured and four were improved. The shortcomings of RPLVA are deep seated operative field, risk of renal pedicle injury, risk of renal artery stenosis and renovascular hypertension.[20]

Trans-inguinal spermatic lympho-venous anastomosis

The procedure has been described in male patients with recurrent chyluria. Inguinal hernia incision is used.[19],[20] About 1 ml of 1% methylene blue + 1% procaine injected in testis. Three large blue stained lymphatics and spermatic veins (of similar caliber) are dissected out. End-to-end interrupted anastomosis is done by 10-0 nylon. Xu et al .[17] described 64 patients in whom transinguinal spermatic lymphangiovenous anastomosis was performed [Figure - 2]. Follow up was 6 months to 11 years in 50 of the patients. Chyluria disappeared completely in 30 (60%). In another study by Zhao et al .[19] reported a success rate of 76.3%. The procedure has the advantage of a superficial operative field and is simple and less traumatic.

Inguinal lymph node-saphenous vein anastomosis

Here, a lymphnodo-venous anastomoses is made according to the principles of lymphovenous shunt. A conical tissue of lymph node close to the greater saphenous vein in the inguinal region is removed and the remaining tunnel-shaped node is anastomosed to the vein to drain the lymph into the venous system. Hou et al[15] treated 30 cases of chyluria and 21 cases were followed up for 6 months after the operation. Among them, 16 (76.2%) showed disappearance of chyluria and 2 (9.5%) were improved, giving an effective rate of 85.7%. The operation avoids damage to both the afferent and efferent lymphatic vessels and affords a large anastomotic stoma for free passage of the lymph into the vein. In another study by Ji et al[16] where in males a lymphatico-venous anastomosis of the spermatic cord was performed and in females the lower inguinal lymph nodes were anastomosed to the branches of the greater saphenous vein. In patients with scrotal lymphangial fistulae, bilateral lymphatico-venous anastomosis was carried out after excision of the fistula and scrotoplasty. Thirty-seven patients were followed up for 1-9 years, 36 being cured by a single operation.

Autotransplantation or nephrectomy

Brunkwall et al[13] reported a case of recurrent chyluria after failed initial surgical treatment, which consisted of stripping of the renal pedicle. Patient was successfully managed by renal autotransplantation. Before the advent of sclerotherapy and chylolymphatic disconnection more formidable procedure like nephrectomy has also been described for recurrent chyluria.[3]

   Conclusion Top

Recurrent chyluria is a significant health problem in certain parts of the world, which are known for the endemicity of the filarial disease. The most common procedure practiced is the resclerotherapy. Patients failing to second courses of sclerothrapy with significant chyluria (weight loss, heavy proteinuria and anemia) should be treated with chylolymphatic disconnection. In India, procedures like microsurgical lymph venous anatomists or autotransplantation have rarely been described.

   References Top

1.Hampton HH. Case of nonparasitic haematochyluria. John Hopkins Hosp Bull 1920:31;20.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Maget A. Renal chyluria. Br J Urol 1967;39:555.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Yamuchi S. Chyluia: clinical laboratory and statistical study of 45 personal cases observed in Hawaii. 1955;54:318.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Hashim SA, Roholt HB, Babayan VK, Vanitallie TB.. Treatment of chyluria and chylothorax with medium chain triglycerides. N Eng J Med 1964;270:756-61.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Punekar SV, Kelkar Ar, Prem AR, Deshmukh HL, Gavande PM. Surgical dissection of lymphorenal communication for chyluria: a 15 years experience. Br J Urol 1997;80:858-63.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  
6.Goel S, Mandhani A, Srivastava A, Kapoor R, Gogoi S, Kumar A, et al. Is povidone iodine an alternative to silver nitrate for renal pelvic instillation sclerotherapy in chyluria? BJU Int 2004;94:1082-5.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
7.Nandy PR, Dwivedi US, Vyas N, Prasad M, Dutta B, Singh PB. Povidone iodine and dextrose solution combination sclerotherapy in chyluria. Urology 2004;64:1107-9.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
8.Hemal AK, Gupta NP. Retroperitoneoscopic lymphatic management of intractable chyluria. J Urol 2002;167:2473-6.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  
9.Okamoto K, Ohi Y. Recent distribution and treatment of filarial chyluria in Japan (quoting Wood AH [1929]). J Urol 1983;129:64-7.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  
10.Ohyama C, Saita H, Miyasato N. Spontaneous remission of chyluria. J Urol 1979;121:316-7.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]  
11.Prasad PB, Chaudhary DK, Barnwal SM, Jha S, Bharthuar A. Periureteric lymphovenous stripping in cases of chylohematuria - Report of 15 cases (Patna Operation). Indian J Surg 1977:39;607-12.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Yue- min Xu, Rongjun Ji, Ning-Titan Jin. Microsurgical treatment of chyluria:A preliminary report. J Urol. 1991;143:1184.   Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Brunkwall J, Simson O, Berquist D, Jonsson K, Bergentz SE. Chyluria treated with renal autotransplantation: A case report. J Urol 1990;143:793-6.  Back to cited text no. 13    
14.Laparoscpic management of chyluria. Ansari MS, Pawan Kumar. In : Contemporary trends in laparoscopic Urologic surgery. B I Churchill Livingstone: 2002. p. 197-202.  Back to cited text no. 14    
15.Hou LQ, Liu QY, Kong QY, Luo CZ, Kong QA, Li LX, et al . Lymphonodovenous anastomosis in the treatment of chyluria. Chin Med J Eng 1991;104:392-4.  Back to cited text no. 15    
16.Ji YZ, Zheng JH, Chen JN, Wu ZD. Microsurgery in the treatment of chyluria and scrotal lymphangial fistula. Br J Urol 1993;72:952-4.  Back to cited text no. 16  [PUBMED]  
17.Xu YM, Ji RJ, Chen ZD, Qiao Y, Jin NT. Microsurgical treatment of chyluria: A preliminary report. J Urol 1991;145:1184-5.  Back to cited text no. 17    
18.Takigawa H, Kagawa S, Aga Y, Uema K, Sumiyoshi Y, Inai T, et al . Renal artery thrombosis following surgical treatment of chyluria. Hinyokika Kiyo 1988;34:1631-4.  Back to cited text no. 18    
19.Zhao WP, Hou LQ, Shen JL. Summary and prospects of fourteen years' experience with treatment of chyluria by microsurgery. Eur Urol 1988;15:219-22.  Back to cited text no. 19  [PUBMED]  
20.Cockett AT, Goodwin WE. Chyluria: attempted surgical treatment by lymphatic-venous anastomosis. J Urol 1962;88:566-8.  Back to cited text no. 20    


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]

  [Table - 1], [Table - 2]


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