Radiographic abnormalities, bladder interventions, and bladder surgery in the first decade of life in children with spina bifida

Adam J. Rensing, Konrad M. Szymanski, Rosalia Misseri, Joshua D. Roth, Shelly King, Katherine Chan, Benjamin M. Whittam, Martin Kaefer, Richard Rink, Mark P. Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Spina bifida (SB) patients are at increased risk for hydronephrosis, bladder storage and emptying problems, and renal failure that may require multiple bladder surgeries. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients born with SB 2005–2009, presenting to our institution within 1 year of birth. Outcomes at 8–11 years old included final renal/bladder ultrasound (RBUS) results, clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) use, anticholinergic use, surgical interventions, and final renal function. We excluded those without follow-up past age 8 and/or no RBUS or fluoroscopic urodynamic images (FUI) within the first year of life. Imaging was independently reviewed by four pediatric urologists blinded to radiologists’ interpretation and initial findings compared with final outcomes. Results: Of 98 children, 62 met inclusion criteria (48% male, 76% shunted). Median age at last follow-up was 9.6 years. Upon initial imaging, 74% had hydronephrosis (≥ SFU grade 1), decreasing to 5% at 10 years (p < 0.0001). Initially, 9% had ≥ SFU grade 3 hydronephrosis, decreasing to 2% (p = 0.13). CIC and anticholinergic use increased from 61% and 37% to 87% and 86%, respectively (p = 0.001 and p < 0.0001, respectively). With follow-up, 55% had surgical intervention and 23% had an augmentation. Of children with a serum creatinine/cystatin-C at 8–11 years old, one had confirmed chronic kidney disease (stage 2). Conclusions: Despite initial high incidence of hydronephrosis, this was low grade and resolved in the first decade of life. Additionally, the 8–11-year incidence of kidney disease and upper tract changes was low due to aggressive medical management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1282
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • CKD
  • Children
  • Clean intermittent catheterization
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Outcome
  • Spina bifida
  • Surgical intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology

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