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Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2009;43(1):47-50. doi: 10.1080/00365590802442086.

Polythelia: still a marker of urinary tract anomalies in children?

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Catholic University, A. Gemelli Hospital, Rome, Italy. pferrara@rm.unicatt.it



Supernumerary nipples (SNN), or polythelia, are the most common form of the accessory mammary tissue malformation. The frequency of this condition ranges from 0.2% to 5.6% depending on various factors. This condition is associated with several anomalies, although this association is often controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between SNN and kidney/urinary tract (K/UT) anomalies, where anomalies is taken to mean functional disorders, malformations and diseases.


A case-control study was performed. The study evaluated 166 children (case group) referred to the Pediatric Nephrology Unit of the Department of Pediatrics of the Catholic University of Rome and 182 children (control group) admitted to the Department of Pediatrics because of pathologies not involving the urinary tract.


There were 11 children with SNN in the case group, and only two patients in the control group (6.62% vs 1.09%, p<0.05).


The results show a high incidence of K/UT anomalies in children with SNN, and therefore K/UT should be investigated in this specific population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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