Endoscopic treatment for urinary incontinence in children with a congenital neuropathic bladder

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Abstract

Objective

To verify, in a retrospective analysis, the effectiveness of endoscopic treatment (collagen injection) in children with neurogenic bladder and neurogenic urinary incontinence.

Patients and methods

From January 1992 to March 1997, 36 endoscopic collagen injections were performed to treat neurogenic urinary incontinence in 23 patients (mean age 10.9 years, range 6-17 at the time of the first procedure) selected on the basis of clinical status and the patient's motivation. Nineteen patients were affected by myelomeningocele and four had an occult spinal dysraphism. All patients underwent a preoperative cystometric urodynamic evaluation (without urethral pressure measurement) which showed detrusor areflexia in 12, normal reflexia in one and hyper-reflexia in 10 patients. Bladder compliance was considered good (≥ 20 cmH20) in 13 patients and low (10-20 cmH2O) in 10, four of whom had detrusor areflexia. Twenty-one children emptied their bladder by intermittent clean catheterization. The mean (range) follow-up was 19.2 (6-54) months. Twenty (group A) and 16 (group B) procedures, performed early and late in the series, were analysed separately to determine any increase in effectiveness with surgical experience. The evaluation criteria were; the increase in the 'dry' interval (between catheterizations) before and after treatment/s (Δdry); the patient's and parent's satisfaction; the number of endoscopic procedures and quantity of injected materials.

Results

There was an improvement (dryness of at least 2 h; Δdry of 1 h) in 13 of 23 patients after 1-3 (mean 1.5) procedures; 10 patients had a 0.2 h increase in Δdry after 1-3 injections and none was satisfied. There was no difference in the Δdry (0.9 vs. 0.7 h) between groups A and B, and/or the patient's/parent's satisfaction. Success rates differed with urodynamic patterns; seven of 10 patients showing no improvement had hyper-reflexia and three of the remaining 12 with areflexia had hypocompliant bladders, while nine of the 13 showing improvement had an areflexic detrusor and low-pressure bladders.

Conclusion

The efficacy of the treatment depends largely on the urodynamic selection of patients (mainly those with detrusor areflexia and good compliance). The outcome may be improved further by increasing the quantity of injected material and with a longer follow-up performing the procedure again if advisable. A close postoperative clinical (pad test) and personal observation is necessary to evaluate the outcome and thus optimize the strategy of treatment.

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