Initial urological evaluation and management of children with neurogenic bladder due to myelomeningocele

The proactive management of children with myelomeningocele (MMC) has contributed to decreasing their progression to end-stage renal disease, thanks to early urological evaluation and timing implementation of treatments.

To demonstrate that early urological evaluation of the urinary tract in MMC shows functional alterations in most cases, and that it requires medical intervention, even when in some cases the complementary imaging studies do not show any abnormalities.

A retrospective study including 60 patients aged <1 year with MMC who were followed by a multidisciplinary team. All of them underwent renal/bladder ultrasound, videourodynamic studies, renal scintigraphy/dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), and laboratory tests for kidney function. The studied variables were: bladder capacity and pressure, presence of overactivity, vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), urinary dilations and abnormalities on renal scintigraphy/DMSA. All the patients received clean intermittent catheterization (CIC).

See Summary Table all the patients showed alterations in at least some of the assessed urodynamic variables: reduced cystometric capacity, 21.6%; detrusor overactivity, 55%; end filling detrusor pressure >20 cm H2O, 43.3%; inefficient bladder voiding, 98.3%; indirect dyssynergic patterns, 28.8%. The high-risk videourodynamic findings were observed in 28 cases (46.6%). DMSA was abnormal in 30%. Renal impairment was detected in 6.6% of cases. A total of 66% of cases received oxybutynin.

Almost all the children in this sample population showed urinary dysfunction, and approximately half of them had high-risk videourodynamic findings. Although many cases showed reflex urinary contractions, almost the entire sample had inefficient bladder voiding. An important limitation of this work was the lack of simultaneity in obtaining each of the requested studies.

In the initial urological evaluation of patients with myelomeningocele, almost all the urodynamic studies showed abnormalities and one-third showed abnormal DMSA, which led to therapeutic actions being initiated, although imaging studies were normal in a great number of patients. CIC alone, starting immediately after birth, is not sufficient. To eliminate or decrease upper tract damage, oxybutynin should be started in addition.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2017 Jan 30 [Epub ahead of print]

Cristian Sager, Carol Burek, Juan Pablo Corbetta, Santiago Weller, Javier Ruiz, Ramiro Perea, Enrique Lago, Yesica Gomez, Victor Durán, Juan Carlos López

Urology Department, Hospital Nacional de Pediatría Prof. Dr. Juan P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address: ., Urology Department, Hospital Nacional de Pediatría Prof. Dr. Juan P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.