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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Oct;54(10):945-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04360.x. Epub 2012 Jul 13.

Cerebral palsy, neurogenic bladder, and outcomes of lifetime care.

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  • 1Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Lakewalk Center, Duluth, MN 55805, USA.



To determine the prevalence of symptomatic neurogenic bladder (SNB) and social and functional variables in a large sample of people with cerebral palsy (CP).


The medical records of 214 individuals (96 females, 118 males) with CP between the years 1990 and 2000 were retrospectively reviewed. Individuals with frequency, urgency, or incontinence were assigned Gross Motor Function Classification System levels and underwent cystometrogram/electromyelogram studies. Neurogenic bladders were classified according to the nomenclature of the International Continence Society.


Fifty-two patients had hemiplegia, 42 diplegia, 117 quadriplegia, and three dyskinesia. Educational levels ranged from full special education to those with graduate degrees. Thirty-five individuals in our group aged 5 to 66 years had SNB with a prevalence of 16.4%. The median age for the entire population was 9 years 7 months and for those with SNB 12 years 4 months (range 5-57y). Over 80% of individuals who underwent investigation were found to have spastic hyper-reflexic type bladders. Ninety-one percent obtained total continence or major improvement with conservative care. SNB was documented across the lifespan, educational spectrum, and functional level. Upper urinary tract pathology was infrequent.


SNB is a common finding in individuals with CP. In most patients it is readily diagnosed and treated with conservative interventions.

© The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2012 Mac Keith Press.

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