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J Urol. 2007 Oct;178(4 Pt 2):1615-8. Epub 2007 Aug 16.

Urachal anomalies: a longitudinal study of urachal remnants in children and adults.

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Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



Urachal anomalies are often recognized in children but they may persist into adulthood and cause considerable morbidity. We reviewed the clinical findings associated with these embryological structures and evaluated risk factors for cancer to define the optimal timing for intervention.


We examined the medical records of 176 patients diagnosed with a urachal anomaly between 1951 and 2005. Association of clinicopathological features with malignancy for adults was evaluated using univariate and multivariate logistic regression studies.


Urachal remnants were identified in 46 children and 130 adults. Of the 46 children 20 (43%) presented with umbilical drainage and 23 (50%) could be diagnosed by physical examination. A total of 34 children (74%) underwent simple excision. In contrast, 65 of the 130 adults (50%) presented with hematuria, 78 (60%) required cystoscopy and 53 (41%) required computerized tomography. A total of 66 adults (51%) required more extensive surgical intervention with partial or radical cystectomy. Of adult urachal anomalies 66 (51%) were malignant. Patient age 55 years or older and hematuria were the strongest predictors of urachal malignancy (each p <0.001). Cancer risk increased with advancing adult age.


Urachal anomalies present and progress differently in pediatric and adult populations. Adults are at high risk for urachal cancer but children usually incur lower morbidity. Urachal lesions noted early in childhood should be excised to prevent problems in adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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