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J Pediatr Surg. 1999 May;34(5):825-7; discussion 828.

Neurogenic bladder in infants born with anorectal malformations: comparison with spinal and urologic status.

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Department of Urology, University of Southern California School of Medicine and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, 90027, USA.



Spinal dysraphism and neurovesical dysfunction (NVD) frequently are associated in children with anorectal malformations (ARM). This study compares the urodynamic data from a selected group of patients with the results of their spinal and urologic imaging studies.


Twenty-six children (20 with isolated imperforate anus and six with persistent cloacal malformations) were investigated. All patients were evaluated with leak point pressures (LPP), renal ultrasound scan, and voiding cystourethrography. Eight children had urodynamics performed before and after posterior sagittal anorectoplasty (PSARP). The spinal cord was assessed using ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging. Current urologic status was obtained to provide long-term follow-up.


Twenty-one of 26 children demonstrated elevated LPPs above the established normal value of 40 cm H2O, and 15 of these children had normal spinal imaging study findings. Uroradiographic studies findings showed that 12 of 21 children with elevated LPPs had hydronephrosis or vesicoureteral reflux with seven of these patients having normal spinal cords. LPPs in the eight patients with pre- and postoperative studies were 74 +/- 14.7 cm H2O and 68 +/- 31.8 cm H2O (mean +/- SD), respectively.


These urodynamic and radiographic data confirm that NVD (elevated LPP) is common in patients with anorectal malformations despite normal spinal cords. Bladder dysfunction does not appear to be a sequelae of a properly performed PSARP. Patients with ARM and any uroradiographic or clinical urologic abnormality should undergo urodynamic testing even though the spinal studies are normal.

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