Preoperative assessment of neurovesical function in children with anorectal malformation: association with vertebral and spinal malformations

E Stathopoulos, V Muehlethaler, M Rais, L Alamo, G Dushi, P Frey, P Ramseyer, B J Meyrat
Journal of Urology 2012, 188 (3): 943-7

PURPOSE: We preoperatively assessed neurovesical function and spinal cord function in children with anorectal malformations. In cases of neurovesical dysfunction we looked for an association with vertebral malformation or myelodysplasia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively evaluated 80 children with anorectal malformations via preoperative urodynamics and magnetic resonance imaging of the spine. Bladder compliance and volume, detrusor activity and vesicosphincteric synergy during voiding allowed urodynamic evaluation. Results were reported according to Wingspread and Krickenbeck classifications of anorectal malformations.

RESULTS: Urodynamic findings were pathological in 14 children (18%). Pathological evaluations did not seem related to type of fistula or level of anorectal malformation. Vertebral anomalies were seen in 34 patients (43%) and myelodysplasia in 16 (20%). Neither vertebral anomaly nor myelodysplasia seemed associated with type of fistula or severity of anorectal malformation. Of 14 children with pathological urodynamics no vertebral anomaly or myelodysplasia was found in 7. Of 66 children with normal urodynamics 40 presented with vertebral or spinal malformation.

CONCLUSIONS: Lower urinary tract dysfunction is common in patients with anorectal malformations. Normal spine or spinal cord does not exclude neurovesical dysfunction. Myelodysplasia or vertebral anomaly does not determine lower urinary tract dysfunction. Thus, we recommend preoperative urodynamic assessment of the bladder and magnetic resonance imaging of the spine in children with anorectal malformations.

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