Role of urethral bulking agents in epispadias-exstrophy complex patients

Bhavik B. Shah, Eric Z. Massanyi, Heather Dicarlo, Daniel Shear, Adam Kern, Nima Baradaran, John P. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective Injection of urethral bulking agents (UBA) has been used to increase bladder capacity prior to bladder neck reconstruction (BNR) or as an adjuvant therapy following BNR to improve continence. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of urethral injections in the exstrophy population. Materials and methods A review was performed of patient characteristics, bladder capacity, and continence status of all patients with the exstrophy-epispadias complex who underwent injection of UBA between 1980 and 2008. Results Among 66 patients with a median follow-up of 8 years, 41 underwent injections prior to BNR, and 25 had injections after BNR. Only 24% of patients who underwent injections prior to BNR were continent on last follow-up. Among 25 patients who underwent BNR prior to injection(s), 16 were partially continent and nine were incontinent prior to first injection. Patients who were partially continent attained social continence (dry interval greater than 3 h) at a significantly higher rate than those who were incontinent (63% vs. 13%, p = 0.047). No patient with cloacal exstrophy in either group attained urethral continence. Conclusion UBAs do not appear to have a role prior to BNR. However, they may provide benefit when given adjunctively following BNR in patients who are partially continent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Deflux
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urological surgical procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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