Nocturnal bladder emptying: A simple technique for reversing urinary tract deterioration in children with neurogenic bladder

Stephen A. Koff, Michael R. Gigax, Venkata R. Jayanthi, Ranjiv Mathews, Michael Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this preliminary study we sought to determine the effect of instituting nocturnal bladder emptying (NBE) in children with neurogenic (NGB) or nonneurogenic neurogenic bladder (NNGNGB) in whom urinary tract deterioration developed despite optimal daytime clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) and urotropic medications. We hypothesize that a syndrome of nocturnal overdistention of the bladder (SNOB) can cause urinary tract deterioration through increased nighttime storage pressures manifested by recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), worsening incontinence, hydronephrosis and/or decreasing bladder compliance and capacity, and may be reversed by NBE. Materials and Methods: A total of 19 children with NGB (17) or NNGNGB (2) who displayed urinary tract deterioration while on CIC and urotropic medications were started on NBE. Of the patients 15 used a continuously draining nighttime catheter while 4 had scheduled awakenings during the night to perform CIC. The primary indications for NBE were recurrent symptomatic UTI in 5, new or progressive hydronephrosis in 7, and decreasing bladder capacity and compliance in 7. Results: At a mean followup of 23 months 15 (79%) patients showed improvement or complete resolution of 1 or more signs or symptoms of hydronephrosis (7), increase in bladder capacity (5), recurrent UTI (6) and worsening incontinence (3). The remaining 4 patients had no response to NBE. No adverse effects were observed with 10 hours or less of nightly indwelling catheter time. Conclusions: Patients with NGB or NNGNGB on idealized daytime programs of CIC and urotropic drugs may have high intravesical pressures and experience urological deterioration because of an unrecognized SNOB. NBE is a simple technique for treating this condition and reversing the pathophysiological changes. The observation that NBE alone may increase bladder compliance and capacity sufficient to avoid bladder augmentation suggests that development of decreased bladder compliance and capacity in children with NGB may not simply represent normal progression of NGB disease. These changes may be avoidable consequences of untreated SNOB. Early institution of NBE may prevent urinary tract deterioration from developing in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1629-1632
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 II
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder
  • Neurogenic
  • Urinary tract
  • Urination disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nocturnal bladder emptying: A simple technique for reversing urinary tract deterioration in children with neurogenic bladder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this