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J Urol. 1996 Jan;155(1):71-5.

No evidence of osteopenia 5 to 8 years after ileal orthotopic bladder substitution.

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Department of Urology, University of Berne, Switzerland.



The use of bowel segments as bladder substitutes may result in chronic, impaired vitamin D and calcium metabolism, and ultimately in bone demineralization.


Bone metabolism was examined in 14 patients who lived for 5 to 8 years with an ileal low pressure bladder substitute after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer. Bone mineral density was measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry of the total skeleton, lumbar spine, femoral neck, and tibial epiphysis and diaphysis. Laboratory studies included serum levels of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, intact parathyroid hormone, plasma alkaline phosphatase, electrolytes, creatinine and blood gas analysis.


Bone mineral density was normal in all patients. There was no evidence of deficient vitamin D stores. There was a tendency toward slightly elevated serum creatinine values in patients with preexisting impaired renal function, including 1 who also had slight acidosis. No patient had hyperchloremia.


We found no evidence of osteomalacia, osteoporosis or significant metabolic acidosis in 14 patients with an ileal bladder substitute for 5 to 8 years. However, it is not known whether the absence of osteopenia would also apply to patients with poor renal function, to those not followed meticulously and, thus, at risk for major long-term functional or metabolic disturbances from the ileal bladder substitute or to patients with orthotopic bladder substitutes made from longer or other bowel segments than we used.

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