Urologic complications of genitourinary schistosomiasis

World J Urol. 2012 Feb;30(1):31-8. doi: 10.1007/s00345-011-0751-7. Epub 2011 Sep 10.


Objectives: To provide systematic review of the literature on the long-standing complications of genitourinary schistosomiasis.

Materials and methods: The PubMed literature database was searched from inception to December 2010. The following keywords were used: schistosomiasis, bilharziasis, and genitourinary. Only English language publications were utilized.

Results: Variable tissue reactions to bilharzial eggs with subsequent healing or progression and complications in the urinary tract mainly affect the urinary bladder and pelvic segments of the ureters. These lesions may assume an atrophic, proliferative, or neoplastic pattern. Although the pathology is usually extensive in the submucosal, all layers from the mucous membrane through deep to the perivesical or periureteral tissues may be involved. Main fixed bilharzial urologic sequelae include chronic bladder ulcers, leucoplakia, vesical granuloma, contracted bladder, bladder neck contracture, stricture ureters, and bladder carcinoma. These sequelae may lead to marked morphologic and functional changes of the urinary tract, and ultimately, mortality can follow from renal failure or bladder cancer.

Conclusions: Urinary schistosomiasis is a preventable disease through nationwide snail control and mass therapy with oral antibilharzial drugs. If not properly treated, long-standing urinary complications may result in serious sequelae that may lead to mortality from renal failure or bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Genitalia, Male / parasitology*
  • Genitalia, Male / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / complications*
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / epidemiology
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / pathology
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / therapy
  • Ureteral Obstruction / etiology
  • Ureteral Obstruction / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Urinary Calculi / etiology
  • Urinary Tract / parasitology*
  • Urinary Tract / pathology