Urologic problems in spina bifida patients transitioning to adult care

Urology. 2014 Aug;84(2):440-4. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2014.03.041.


Objective: To identify the urologic needs of adult patients with spina bifida (SB) at the time of their transition from pediatric to adult care. We hypothesized that delays in transition to adult care would be associated with higher rates of active problems.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients seen at adult dedicated SB clinics at the Universities of Utah and Minnesota from April 2011 to April 2012. We reviewed bladder management, urologic problems, time from last urologic care, and necessary interventions.

Results: We identified 65 patients from these clinics with SB. The mean age was 30.6 years (standard deviation, 11.3). The median time since last urologic evaluation at Utah and Minnesota was 17 months and 12 months, respectively (range 1 month-10 years). Fifty-five patients (85%) reported a urologic problem at the time of their visit. Urinary incontinence was most common in 34 (52%), followed by recurrent urinary tract infection in 22 (34%), catheterization troubles in 8 (12%), and calculi in 6 (9%). Sixty-three patients (97%) required some sort of intervention. These were diagnostic (cystoscopy, ultrasonography, computed tomography scan, urodynamics) in 50 patients (77%), surgical (urinary diversion, onabotulinum toxin A injection, stone surgery, and so forth) in 22 (34%), and medical (antimicrobial prophylaxis, bladder irrigations, anticholinergics, self-catheterization) in 16 (25%). There was no association between longer transition times and higher rates of active problems.

Conclusion: On presentation to adult SB clinics, patients had many active urologic problems and operative management was often needed; however, there was no association between longer transition times and higher rates of active problems.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Dysraphism / complications*
  • Transition to Adult Care*
  • Urologic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Urologic Diseases / therapy*