Prospective study on the incidence of bladder/cloacal exstrophy and epispadias in Europe

Raimondo M. Cervellione, Alberto Mantovani, John Gearhart, Guy Bogaert, Rita Gobet, Paolo Caione, Alan P. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective On behalf of the European Society of Paediatric Urology (ESPU), a prospective study was designed with the aim of defining the actual number of babies born with bladder exstrophy, cloacal exstrophy, and epispadias in Europe over a 12-month period, and verifying the distribution of the exstrophy patients born during the study period among the different paediatric urology centres in Europe. Study design The study was structured with a chief investigator and one national investigator for each country enrolled in the study. The national investigators nominated one local investigator for each European centre of paediatric surgery/paediatric urology and urology where the exstrophy complex could potentially be treated. The local investigators were responsible for reporting babies treated in their institutions for bladder/cloacal exstrophy and/or epispadias. During 2010, every 3 months, an electronic survey (Figure) was e-mailed to the local investigators asking them to report babies treated or referred for treatment during the previous 3 months. Results One-hundred and sixteen centres in 27 European counties were enrolled in the study. The overall response rate for the four online surveys was 79%. Two-hundred and thirty-eight babies were reported to be born with a condition within the bladder exstrophy epispadias complex (BEEC): 71 primary epispadias (66 males), 146 classic bladder exstrophy (97 males) of which two were female bladder exstrophy variant, and 21 cloacal exstrophy (17 males). Two of 67 (3%) male epispadias, 24/146 (16.4%) bladder exstrophy, and 6/21 (28%) cloacal exstrophy were antenatally diagnosed. Associated anomalies were reported in 2/71 (2.8%) epispadias patients, 8/146 (5.5%) bladder exstrophy patients, and 15/21 (71.4%) cloacal exstrophy patients. One-hundred and forty-seven (62%) of the 238 babies born in Europe with a condition within the exstrophy spectrum during 2010 were transferred from other institutions for treatment (36 male epispadias, 97 bladder exstrophy, and 14 cloacal exstrophy). Only 12 centres treated six or more exstrophy and or epispadias patients during the study period; 52 treated between one and five patients, of which 22 treated only one case in 12 months. Discussion This study provides a contemporary incidence of the BEEC in Europe. It demonstrates also that only a minority (19%) of the European centres involved in the treatment of exstrophy can be considered "high volume" exstrophy centres. Conclusion There is a case for proposing a rationalisation of the treatment of this group of conditions in a small number of exstrophy units around Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337.e1-337.e6
JournalJournal of pediatric urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Cloacal exstrophy
  • Demography
  • Epidemiology
  • Epispadias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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