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Treatment of retroperitoneal fibrosis

Augusto Vaglio, MD, PhD
Alessandra Palmisano, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Gary C Curhan, MD, ScD
Deputy Editor
Alice M Sheridan, MD


Retroperitoneal fibrosis, also referred to as Ormond's disease, is an uncommon but treatable cause of obstructive uropathy. This disorder involves chronic inflammation and fibroblast proliferation, with excessive extracellular matrix deposition. Untreated patients may develop severe complications or progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) [1].

Retroperitoneal fibrosis is also sometimes associated with venous or arterial occlusion due to compression or abdominal aortic aneurysms, if in the setting of chronic periaortitis. In addition to medical therapy for the retroperitoneal fibrosis, these situations may require endovascular or surgical management. The management of these issues requires consultation with the appropriate specialists. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of retroperitoneal fibrosis".)

The treatment of idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis is reviewed here. The clinical manifestations, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of this disorder are presented separately. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of retroperitoneal fibrosis".)


The goals of therapy are to relieve the obstruction caused by fibrosis, stop the progression of the fibrotic process, and prevent recurrence.

If the retroperitoneal fibrosis is due to a secondary cause (table 1), treatment is aimed at the underlying etiology. If the disease is idiopathic, we initiate immunosuppressive therapy.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 30, 2017.
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