Systematic review and meta-analysis to study the outcomes of proactive versus delayed management in children with a congenital neurogenic bladder Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To review the urological outcomes of proactive versus delayed management of children with a neurogenic bladder (NB). METHODS: We performed a literature search on EMBASE, MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials between January 1, 2000 to August 21, 2023 for studies investigating the management of spina bifida-associated NB in pediatric patients (0-18 years of age). Proactive management was defined as use of clean intermittent catheterization, and/or anticholinergics at presentation, or based on initial high-risk urodynamic findings by 1 year of age. Delayed management was defined as beginning management after 1 year of age or no intervention. Outcomes included incidence or diagnosis of secondary vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), urinary tract infection (UTI), and renal deterioration, which included renal scarring, loss of differential renal function on a nuclear scan, or a decrease in renal function defined by glomerular filtration rate or serum creatinine estimation. Forest plots were synthesized using the Inverse Variance method with random-effect model. The Risk of Bias was assessed using the ROBINS-I tool. RESULTS: We included 8 observational studies on 652 pediatric patients with spina bifida-associated NB (mean follow-up - 7 years). Proactive management following initial assessment was associated with significantly lower risks of secondary VUR (OR 0.37 [0.19, 0.74], p = 0.004), non-febrile UTI (OR 0.35 [0.19, 0.62], p = 0.0004), and renal deterioration (OR 0.31 [0.20, 0.47], p < 0.00001). DISCUSSION: Delayed management of NB potentially has 3 times higher risks of secondary VUR, non-febrile UTI, and renal deterioration. However, the evidence is limited by the high risk of bias due to lack of randomization and standardized reporting in observational studies. CONCLUSION: While further well-defined prospective studies with long-term follow-up should be conducted to confirm this finding, this study supports the EAU/ESPU recommendations for early intervention in children with NB.


  • Li, Yilong
  • Stern, Noah
  • Wang, Peter Zhantao
  • Braga, Luis
  • Dave, Sumit

publication date

  • December 2023