A multinational survey on the management of the urinary tract in newborns with spina bifida: Are we following current EAU/ESPU guidelines?

In August 2019, the European Association of Urology (EAU) and European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU) published updated guidelines on the management of neurogenic bladder in children and adolescents. Our study aimed to establish whether members of the ESPU are adhering to these guidelines.

We designed a survey comprising 26 questions using SurveyMonkey®. Respondents were asked about management of neurogenic bladder at birth in newborns with spina bifida (SB), urological investigations, as well as short and long-term follow-up in their institutions.

There were 103 respondents to the survey (754 recipients, giving a response rate of 14%) spanning 36 countries. 100% of respondents carry out a renal/bladder ultrasound at birth. Only 53% routinely commence clean intermittent catheterization soon after birth as recommended by the guidelines. Only 56% recommend anticholinergic medications after abnormal videourodynamics (VUDs). The guidelines recommend the use of continued antibiotic prophylaxis if there is evidence of vesicoureteral reflux and hostile bladder/non-conclusive results on VUDs which is followed by only 30% of providers. 63% of respondents carry out baseline VUDs at the recommended time. Seeing larger volumes of SB patients, having a formal SB protocol, having formal SB multidisciplinary clinics and working in a tertiary referral center did not make respondents more likely to adhere to guidelines.

Our survey demonstrated that large variations from the EAU/ESPU guidelines exist in practice. The study confirms that further work is required across institutions and countries to implement these evidence-based recommendations for standardized practice.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2021 Oct 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Gavin Kane, Miriam Doyle, Gabrielle Kelly, Ramnath Subramaniam, Salvatore Cascio

Department of Paediatric Urology, Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin, Ireland., School of Mathematics and Statistics, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland., Department of Paediatric Urology, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

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