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  • Borodulin, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Physical inactivity, low cardiorespiratory fitness, and abdominal obesity are direct and mediating risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The results of recent studies suggest that individuals with higher levels of physical activity or cardiorespiratory fitness have lower CVD and all-cause mortality than those with lower activity or fitness levels regardless of their level of obesity. The interrelationships of physical activity, fitness, and abdominal obesity with cardiovascular risk factors have not been studied in detail. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of different types of leisure time physical activity and aerobic fitness with cardiovascular risk factors in a large population of Finnish adults. In addition, a novel aerobic fitness test was implemented and the distribution of aerobic fitness was explored in men and women across age groups. The interrelationships of physical activity, aerobic fitness and abdominal obesity were examined in relation to cardiovascular risk factors. This study was part of the National FINRISK Study 2002, which monitors cardiovascular risk factors in a Finnish adult population. The sample comprised 13 437 men and women aged 25 to 74 years and was drawn from the Population Register as a stratified random sample according to 10-year age groups, gender and area. A separate physical activity study included 9179 subjects, of whom 5 980 participated (65%) in the study. At the study site, weight, height, waist and hip circumferences, and blood pressure were measured, a blood sample was drawn, and an aerobic fitness test was performed. The fitness test estimated maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and was based on a non-exercise method by using a heart rate monitor at rest. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) was calculated by dividing waist circumference with hip circumference and was used as a measure of abdominal obesity. Participants filled in a questionnaire on health behavior, a history of diseases, and current health status, and a detailed 12-month leisure time physical activity recall. Based on the recall data, relative energy expenditure was calculated using metabolic equivalents, and physical activity was divided into conditioning, non-conditioning, and commuting physical activity. Participants aged 45 to 74 years were later invited to take part in a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test with fasting insulin and glucose measurements. Based on the oral glucose tolerance test, undiagnosed impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes were defined. The estimated aerobic fitness was lower among women and decreased with age. A higher estimated aerobic fitness and a lower WHR were independently associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and with higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and HDL to total cholesterol ratio. The associations of the estimated aerobic fitness with diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and HDL to total cholesterol ratio were stronger in men with a higher WHR. High levels of conditioning and non-conditioning physical activity were associated with lower high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. High levels of conditioning and overall physical activities were associated with lower insulin and glucose levels. The associations were stronger among women than men. A better self-rated physical fitness was associated with a higher estimated aerobic fitness, lower CRP levels, and lower insulin and glucose levels in men and women. In each WHR third, the risk of impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes was higher among physically inactive individuals who did not undertake at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five days per week. These cross-sectional data show that higher levels of estimated aerobic fitness and regular leisure time physical activity are associated with a favorable cardiovascular risk factor profile and that these associations are present at all levels of abdominal obesity. Most of the associations followed a dose-response manner, suggesting that already low levels of physical activity or fitness are beneficial to health and that larger improvements in risk factor levels may be gained from higher activity and fitness levels. The present findings support the recommendation to engage regularly in leisure time physical activity, to pursue a high level of aerobic fitness, and to prevent abdominal obesity.
  • Hernelahti, Miika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Kaseva, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Advancements in neonatal care are resulting in increasing numbers of adult survivors after preterm birth at very low birth weight (VLBW, ≤ 1500 g). VLBW is associated with risk factors of non-communicable diseases, e.g. cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. We investigated mechanisms underlying the effects of preterm birth on later health in VLBW adults, with a focus on 1) physical activity, 2) nutrition and 3) stress response. The participants come from a follow-up cohort study, the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults. Different subgroups from the original birth cohort (born in 1978-1985) have as young adults participated in the studies of this thesis. The controls, born at term, were group-matched for birth hospital, age and sex. We evaluated physical activity by self-report and objective measurement. The participants completed a physical activity questionnaire and underwent wrist-worn accelerometer measurement. To assess dietary intake, the participants completed a 3-day food record. For evaluation of stress response, the participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). In conjunction with TSST, we measured heart rate, salivary cortisol, plasma ACTH, cortisol, glucose, insulin, adrenalin and noradrenalin. 1) Based on self-report, healthy VLBW adults undertake approximately 50% less conditioning leisure-time physical activity, with lower yearly frequency, total time, total volume and energy expenditure than controls. We were unable to confirm our finding of lower physical activity with wrist-worn accelerometer measurement. 2) VLBW adults had lower consumption of vegetables, fruits, berries and milk products. This was combined with lower intake of calcium and vitamin D. 3) VLBW adults showed a lower hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) response to stress than controls. This was accompanied by a lower insulin response. No evidence of a higher sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) system stress response was found. Furthermore, we observed a lower noradrenalin response to stress in VLBW women. This study showed that VLBW adults undertake less conditioning leisure-time physical activities and have unhealthier diets, both factors that negatively affect future health in this high-risk population. They may in part underlie the increased risk for chronic non-communicable diseases in VLBW individuals. Further, a lower HPAA response to stress was found in VLBW adults than in controls. For SAM stress response, the results were similar in VLBW and control groups, with lower noradrenalin response to stress in VLBW women only. These findings reinforce the supposition that stress response is programmed early in life. In sum, this study increased understanding of possible mechanisms linking preterm birth and adult risk of disease.
  • Kiilavuori, Kai (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Lindholm, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Good recovery helps to restore functional reserves and facilitates the positive effects of stress at work. The risk of job stress is increased by excessive quantitative demands, low job control, poor recovery and disruption of biological rhythms. Stress causes changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) function and in excretion of cortisol hormone regulated by hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex (HPA) axis. Melatonin and cortisol are diurnally oscillating hormones reflecting disruption of biological rhythms. Common symptoms of harmful stress are sleep problems, exhaustion and decrease in work efficiency. The risk of many common diseases increases. In this study perceived and physiologically measured stress and recovery were analysed in media work, which contains typical risk factors of job stress in 24/7 society. A standardized questionnaire was mailed to all employees of the Finnish Broadcasting Company with irregular shift work (ISW, n = 750) and to an equal number of randomly selected controls with regular 8-hour daytime work (RDW). The questionnaire included items of work characteristics, perceived stress, mental and physical health and lifestyle. The response rate was over 80 % in ISW group and about 35 % in RDW group. Seventy respondents from both groups were randomly selected for physiological measurements. Cortisol and melatonin hormones were analysed from five salivary samples taken while subjects were awake. Heart rate variability as indicator of ANS function was calculated from 24 hour ECG recordings. Body movements were monitored by actigraphy. Severe subjective stress, irregular shift work, and short actual sleep time were all significant explanatory variables of augmented morning cortisol response. The risk of daytime sleepiness was nearly twofold in the ISW group compared to the RDW group. The daytime sleepiness was associated with attenuated relaxation of ANS during sleep in ISW group. The changes in the afternoon and evening levels of cortisol and melatonin hormones might predispose to difficulties in initiating sleep. In all, about 40 % of workers reported high job control and 40% low job control. During the recovery period (from 18.00 to 06.00 hrs between working days), those who experienced high job control at work had significantly better recovery of ANS function than other workers. Depression, hypertension and poor general health were associated with many types of sleep disorders and they all increased the risk of nocturnal waking. Severe stress doubled the risk of difficulties initiating sleep and the risk of non-restorative sleep. Analysis of recovery should be included in the evaluation of workers health and well-being in 24/7 society. Simultaneously analysed autonomic nervous system function and neuroendocrine indicators provide additional information about stress and recovery. Ambulatory measurements in real life settings could offer new insights in occupational health studies, once their validation has been achieved.
  • Quintero, Ileana B. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) has been linked to prostate cancer since the mid-1930s. The main research approach of PAP over that time has been based on its role in the human prostate. The regulatory mechanisms of expression of the PAP gene have also been studied, giving us information about the regulatory elements in the gene and the transcription factors that affect the gene expression in the prostatic tissue. However, little was known until recently about this protein s role and physiological function in other tissues. Our group generated and used a PAP-deficient mouse and was able to show that PAP is expressed in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and spinal cord in mice. This is the same protein as thiamine monophosphatase (TMPase) whose enzymatic activity has been used for five decades to mark primary sensory neurons. In these tissues, PAP acts as an ecto-5'-nucleotidase and is able to dephosphorylate AMP to adenosine, and therefore produce an anti-nociceptive effect due to the binding of adenosine to the A1-adenosine receptor. We analyzed the ACPP gene, which enabled us to describe a new transmembrane isoform for PAP (TMPAP). This novel PAP isoform is produced by alternative splicing of the 11th exon of the ACPP gene. The alternative splicing is present in species such as the human, mouse and rat. The newly discovered isoform is widely expressed in human and mouse tissues and contains a tyrosine sequence (YxxΦ) in its carboxyl-terminus, which directs the protein to endocytosis. We have also corroborated its functionality by co-localization studies with different organelle markers in the endosomal/lysosomal pathway (I). The generation of a PAP-deficient mouse also enabled us to study the function/s of PAP in vivo. The lack of PAP in this mouse model led to the gradual changes in the mouse prostate that finally culminated with the development of prostate adenocarcinoma at the age of 12 months. Microarray analyses of different tissues that compared the PAP deficient mouse with the wild type (WT) mouse revealed changes in genes related to the vesicular trafficking, which support our previous results and led us to the conclusion that TMPAP could be involved in the regulation of the vesicular trafficking. We also detected the interaction between TMPAP and snapin, a SNARE (Soluble NSF Attachment Protein Receptor) associated protein, by yeast two-hybrid screening, co-localization and FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) analysis. We concluded that, the disruption of this interaction in the PAP-deficient mouse leads to a disturbance in the vesicular transport of the cell and to the development of prostate adenocarcinoma in the PAP-deficient mouse prostate (II). Furthermore, we showed that the PAP-deficient mice present multiple behavioral and neurochemical alterations including increased size of brain lateral ventricles, hyperdopaminergic deregulation, and altered GABAergic transmission, symptoms that indicate that PAP also disturbes the normal function of the central nervous system (III). Snapin protein in the brain has been described as a protein important for the vesicular transport and for the fusion of vesicles with the plasma membrane, and we observed that the lack of PAP in GABAergic neurons leads to a change in the localization of snapin in the PAP-deficient mouse (III), which could indicate that as in the prostate a dysregulated vesicular trafficking could be the reason for the detected phenotype. The discovery of the new TMPAP and its localization in the endosomal/lysosomal pathway enabled an understanding of the phenotypic changes that occur in the PAP-deficient mouse. We hypothesized that TMPAP regulates vesicular trafficking by interacting with snapin, and its deficiency leads to a dysregulation of the endo-/exocytosis cycle, which produces the observed alterations in the mouse organs and tissues. The results obtained throughout this research project have opened up new lines of research related to PAP physiological function, and a deeper understanding of the expression, regulation and function of this protein could lead to new clinical applications.
  • Raivio, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Pitfalls in the treatment of persons with dementia Persons with dementia require high-quality health care, rehabilitation and sufficient social services to support their autonomy and to postpone permanent institutionalization. This study sought to investigate possible pitfalls in the care of patients with dementia: hip fracture rehabilitation, use of inappropriate or antipsychotic medication, social and medicolegal services offered to dementia caregiving families. Three different Finnish samples were used from years 1999-2005, mean age 78 to 86 years. After hip fracture operation, the weight-bearing restriction especially in group of patients with dementia, was associated with a longer rehabilitation period (73.5 days vs. 45.5 days, p=0.03) and the inability to learn to walk after six weeks (p<0.001). Almost half (44%) of the pre-surgery home-dwellers with dementia in our sample required permanent hospitalization after hip fracture. Potentially inappropriate medication was used among 36.2% of nursing home and hospital patients. The most common PIDs in Finland were temazepam over 15 mg/day, oxybutynin, and dipyridamole. However, PID use failed to predict mortality or the use of health services. Nearly half (48.4%) of the nursing home and hospital patients with dementia used antipsychotic medication. The two-year mortality did not differ among the users of conventional or atypical antipsychotics or the non-users (45.3% vs.32.1% vs.49.6%, p=0.195). The mean number of hospital admissions was highest among non-users (p=0.029). A high number of medications (HR 1.12, p<0.001) and the use of physical restraints (HR 1.72, p=0.034) predicted higher mortality at two years, while the use of atypical antipsychotics (HR 0.49, p=0.047) showed a protective effect, if any. The services most often offered to caregiving families of persons with Alzheimer s disease (AD) included financial support from the community (36%), technical devices (33%), physiotherapy (32%), and respite care in nursing homes (31%). Those services most often needed included physiotherapy for the spouse with dementia (56%), financial support (50%), house cleaning (41%), and home respite (40%). Only a third of the caregivers were satisfied with these services, and 69% felt unable to influence the range of services offered. The use of legal guardians was quite rare (only 4.3%), while the use of financial powers of attorney was 37.8%. Almost half (47.9%) of the couples expressed an unmet need for discussion with their doctor about medico-legal issues, while only 9.9% stated that their doctor had informed them of such matters. Although we already have many practical methods to develop the medical and social care of persons with AD, these patients and their families require better planning and tailoring of such services. In this way, society could offer these elderly persons better quality of life while economizing on its financial resources. This study was supported by Social Insurance Institution of Finland and part of it made in cooperation with the The Central Union of the Welfare for the Aged, Finland.
  • Tikkanen, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Placental abruption, one of the most significant causes of perinatal mortality and maternal morbidity, occurs in 0.5-1% of pregnancies. Its etiology is unknown, but defective trophoblastic invasion of the spiral arteries and consequent poor vascularization may play a role. The aim of this study was to define the prepregnancy risk factors of placental abruption, to define the risk factors during the index pregnancy, and to describe the clinical presentation of placental abruption. We also wanted to find a biochemical marker for predicting placental abruption early in pregnancy. Among women delivering at the University Hospital of Helsinki in 1997-2001 (n=46,742), 198 women with placental abruption and 396 control women were identified. The overall incidence of placental abruption was 0.42%. The prepregnancy risk factors were smoking (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.1, 2.7), uterine malformation (OR 8.1; 1.7, 40), previous cesarean section (OR 1.7; 1.1, 2.8), and history of placental abruption (OR 4.5; 1.1, 18). The risk factors during the index pregnancy were maternal (adjusted OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1, 2.9) and paternal smoking (2.2; 1.3, 3.6), use of alcohol (2.2; 1.1, 4.4), placenta previa (5.7; 1.4, 23.1), preeclampsia (2.7; 1.3, 5.6) and chorioamnionitis (3.3; 1.0, 10.0). Vaginal bleeding (70%), abdominal pain (51%), bloody amniotic fluid (50%) and fetal heart rate abnormalities (69%) were the most common clinical manifestations of placental abruption. Retroplacental blood clot was seen by ultrasound in 15% of the cases. Neither bleeding nor pain was present in 19% of the cases. Overall, 59% went into preterm labor (OR 12.9; 95% CI 8.3, 19.8), and 91% were delivered by cesarean section (34.7; 20.0, 60.1). Of the newborns, 25% were growth restricted. The perinatal mortality rate was 9.2% (OR 10.1; 95% CI 3.4, 30.1). We then tested selected biochemical markers for prediction of placental abruption. The median of the maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) multiples of median (MoM) (1.21) was significantly higher in the abruption group (n=57) than in the control group (n=108) (1.07) (p=0.004) at 15-16 gestational weeks. In multivariate analysis, elevated MSAFP remained as an independent risk factor for placental abruption, adjusting for parity ≥ 3, smoking, previous placental abruption, preeclampsia, bleeding in II or III trimester, and placenta previa. MSAFP ≥ 1.5 MoM had a sensitivity of 29% and a false positive rate of 10%. The levels of the maternal serum free beta human chorionic gonadotrophin MoM did not differ between the cases and the controls. None of the angiogenic factors (soluble endoglin, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1, or placental growth factor) showed any difference between the cases (n=42) and the controls (n=50) in the second trimester. The levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) showed no difference between the cases (n=181) and the controls (n=261) (median 2.35 mg/l [interquartile range {IQR} 1.09-5.93] versus 2.28 mg/l [IQR 0.92-5.01], not significant) when tested in the first trimester (mean 10.4 gestational weeks). Chlamydia pneumoniae specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin A (IgA) as well as C. trachomatis specific IgG, IgA and chlamydial heat-shock protein 60 antibody rates were similar between the groups. In conclusion, although univariate analysis identified many prepregnancy risk factors for placental abruption, only smoking, uterine malformation, previous cesarean section and history of placental abruption remained significant by multivariate analysis. During the index pregnancy maternal alcohol consumption and smoking and smoking by the partner turned out to be the major independent risk factors for placental abruption. Smoking by both partners multiplied the risk. The liberal use of ultrasound examination contributed little to the management of women with placental abruption. Although second-trimester MSAFP levels were higher in women with subsequent placental abruption, clinical usefulness of this test is limited due to low sensitivity and high false positive rate. Similarly, angiogenic factors in early second trimester, or CRP levels, or chlamydial antibodies in the first trimester failed to predict placental abruption.
  • Perälä, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Plexins (plxn) are receptors of semaphorins (sema), which were originally characterized as axon guidance cues. Semaphorin-plexin signalling has now been implicated in many other developmental and pathological processes. In this thesis, my first aim was to study the expression of plexins during mouse development. My second aim was to study the function of Plexin B2 in the development of the kidney. Thirdly, my objective was to elucidate the evolutionary conservation of Plexin B2 by investigating its sequence, expression and function in developing zebrafish. I show by in situ hybridisation that plexins are widely expressed also in the non-neuronal tissues during mouse development. Plxnb1 and Plxnb2, for example, are expressed also in the ureteric epithelium, developing glomeruli and undifferentiated metanephric mesenchyme of the developing kidney. Plexin B2-deficient (Plxnb2-/-) mice die before birth and have severe defects in the nervous system. I demonstrate that they develop morphologically normal but hypoplastic kidneys. The ureteric epithelium of Plxnb2-/- kidneys has fewer branches and a lower rate of proliferating cells. 10% of the embryos show unilateral double ureters and kidneys. The defect in the branching is intrinsic to the epithelium as the isolated ureteric epithelium grown in vitro fails to respond to Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (Gdnf). We prove by co-immunoprecipitation that Plexin B2 interacts with the Gdnf-receptor Ret. Sema4C, the Plexin B2 ligand, increases branching of the ureteric epithelium in controls but not in Plxnb2-/- kidney explants. These results suggest that Sema4C-Plexin B2 signalling modulates ureteric branching in a positive manner, possibly through directly regulating the activation of Ret. I cloned the zebrafish orthologs of Plexin B2, Plexin B2a and B2b. The corresponding proteins contain the conserved domains the B-subfamily plexins. Especially the expression pattern of plxnb2b recapitulates many aspects of the expression pattern of Plxnb2 in mouse. Plxnb2a and plxnb2b are expressed, for example, in the pectoral fins and at the midbrain-hindbrain region during zebrafish development. The nearly complete knockdown of Plexin B2a alone or together with the 45% knockdown of Plexin B2b did not interfere with the normal development of the zebrafish. In conclusion, my thesis reveals that plexins are broadly expressed during mouse embryogenesis. It also shows that Sema4C-Plexin B2 signalling modulates the branching of the ureteric epithelium during kidney development, perhaps through a direct interaction with Ret. Finally, I show that the sequence and expression of Plexin B2a and B2b are conserved in zebrafish. Their knockdown does not, however, result in the exencephaly phenotype of Plxnb2-/- mice.
  • Rinta-Valkama, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Type 1 diabetes is a disease where the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed by an autoimmune mechanism. The incidence of type 1 diabetes, as well as the incidence of the diabetic kidney complication, diabetic nephropathy, are increasing worldwide. Nephrin is a crucial molecule for the filtration function of the kidney. It localises in the podocyte foot processes partially forming the interpodocyte final sieve of the filtration barrier, the slit diaphragm. The expression of nephrin is altered in diabetic nephropathy. Recently, nephrin was found from the beta cells of the pancreas as well, which makes this molecule interesting in the context of type 1 diabetes and especially in diabetic nephropathy. In this thesis work, the expression of other podocyte molecules in the beta cells of the pancreas, in addition to nephrin, were deciphered. It was also hypothesised that patients with type 1 diabetes may develop autoantibodies against novel beta cell molecules comparably to the formation of autoantibodies to GAD, IA-2 and insulin. The possible association of such novel autoantibodies with the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy was also assessed. Furthermore, expression of nephrin in lymphoid tissues has been suggested, and this issue was more thoroughly deciphered here. The expression of nephrin in the human lymphoid tissues, and a set of podocyte molecules in the human, mouse and rat pancreas at the gene and protein level were studied by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -based methods and immunochemical methods. To detect autoantibodies to novel beta cell molecules, specific radioimmunoprecipitation assays were developed. These assays were used to screen a follow-up material of 66 patients with type 1 diabetes and a patient material of 150 diabetic patients with signs of diabetic nephropathy. Nephrin expression was detected in the lymphoid follicle germinal centres, specifically in the follicular dendritic cells. In addition to the previously reported expression of nephrin in the pancreas, expression of the podocyte molecules, densin, filtrin, FAT and alpha-actinin-4 were detected in the beta cells. Circulating antibodies to nephrin, densin and filtrin were discovered in a subset of patients with type 1 diabetes. However, no association of these autoantibodies with the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy was detected. In conclusion, the expression of five podocyte molecules in the beta cells of the pancreas suggests some molecular similarities between the two cell types. The novel autoantibodies against shared molecules of the kidney podocytes and the pancreatic beta cells appear to be part of the common autoimmune mechanism in patients with type 1 diabetes. No data suggested that the autoantibodies would be active participants of the kidney injury detected in diabetic nephropathy.
  • Lahdenkari, Anne-Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Hietala, Eeva-Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Avela, Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Joensuu, Tarja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Heikkilä, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    ABSTRACT Background. Posterior urethral valves (PUV) constitute the most common infravesical urinary obstruction in boys. PUV are often accompanied by severe consequences to the lower and upper urinary tract. They also represent a major urological cause for paediatric renal transplantations. Since no previous systemically analysed true long-term studies exist, early findings, treatment and their relations to late renal function are not clarified in many respects. Aims. The clinical characteristics and renal outcomes of PUV were assessed. Also evaluated were the risk factors for the progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Patients and methods. All patients treated for PUV at Children s Hospital, University of Helsinki, from 1953 to 2003 were identified from the hospital database. Age and mode of presentation, structural abnormalities, treatment, follow-up data and outcome were registered. In addition, the Finnish Kidney Transplantation Registry and the Finnish Population Register were reviewed to identify those who had progression to dialysis or renal transplantation or had demised. Results. The diagnosis of PUV was made in 200 patients. The incidence of cryptorchidism was16-fold and the incidence of inguinal hernia 7-fold higher in PUV patients than in the normal population. Cryptorchidism and inguinal hernias was more common in patients with more severe PUV. The incidence of urinomas in PUV patients was 15% after onset of routine ultrasound. Of all 17 patients, 9 had perirenal urinoma, 6 urinary ascites and 2 urinothorax. Renal function was similar in PUV patients with and without urinoma. High voiding pressures were seen in infants around the ablation of the valves. No correlation between high voiding pressures and poor primary kidney function was observed. The voiding pressures were registered to decrease during the months following the release of the valvular obstruction. Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) was observed in 127 PUV patients (64%). Bilateral VUR was present in 73 (37%) and unilateral VUR in 54 (27%). At presentation, refluxing patients had significantly higher serum creatinine values than patients without VUR. Reflux resolved spontaneously at a median of 1.28 years (range 0.04 to 15.16) after the release of the valvular obstruction. Of all patients, 44 (22.8%) had progression to ESRD at the evaluation, which occurred at a median age of 31 years (range 6 to 69); 30 (68%) had developed renal failure before the age of 17 years, and 14 (32%) as adults. In this study, the highest age at the onset of ESRD was 34 years. According to Kaplan-Meier analysis, the life-time risk of ESRD was 28.5% (SE 3.8%). Patients with higher creatinine values during the first postoperative year had progression to ESRD at an earlier age. Early age, poor renal function, pneumothorax and bilateral VUR at presentation and postoperative recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) were risk factors for ESRD. Conclusions. Posterior urethral valves often lead to ESRD. Early presentation, poor primary renal function, pneumothorax perinatally as well as VUR bilaterally and recurrent postoperative UTIs carry a risk for renal function deterioration and ESRD. These risk factors should be recognized and proper management initiated, with follow-up extending through childhood to adulthood.