Long-term metabolic effects of urinary diversion: A comparison of myelomeningocele patients managed by clean intermittent catheterization and urinary diversion

M. O. Koch, W. S. McDougal, M. C. Hall, D. E. Hill, H. V. Braren, M. N. Donofrio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations


We previously reported that chronic urinary diversion through intestinal segments may have adverse effects on bone and mineral metabolism. This study examined the long-term health of patients managed by urinary diversion (94% by ileal conduit) for neuropathic bladders secondary to myelomeningocele defects and compared them to a control population of myelomeningocele patients managed by intermittent catheterization. Of the patients 93 were studied by personal interview, chart review, morphometric analysis, serum studies and dual-photon bone density determination. Average followup was 23 ± 6 years in the urinary diversion group and 17 ± 5 years in the intermittent catheterization group. Fractures occurred in 40% of the patients in both groups. Patients with a urinary diversion had an increased need for surgery to correct spinal curvature (57% versus 40%) and a significantly increased incidence of complications resulting from orthopedic procedures (17% versus 3%, p ≤0.05). There was also an adverse effect on renal function. The urinary diversion group had an increased incidence of radiographic renal deterioration (57% versus 8%, p <0.001), nephrolithiasis (43% versus 2%, p <0.001), pyelonephritis (60% versus 21%, p <0.001) and intermittent metabolic acidosis (20% versus 5%, p = 0.05). Surgery was required in 37% for stomal complications and in 17% for ureterointestinal stricture. Linear growth was adversely affected by urinary diversion. Patients with urinary diversion had decreased lengths for all morphometric parameters and a greater percentage of them were at or below the 10th percentile standards. Serum electrolytes, liver function studies, vitamin D3 and parahormone showed no differences in the 2 groups. No patient had a significant metabolic acidosis at the time of study. Bone densities were significantly diminished in both groups and not significantly different. This study strongly suggests that urinary diversion through intestinal segments is associated with adverse effects on bone health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1347
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992



  • bone density
  • catheterization
  • mineral
  • urinary diversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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