Introduction: Various bulking agents are available for vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) endoscopic treatment, but their inconsistent success rates and costs are concerns for urologists. Recently, polyacrylamide hydrogel (PAHG) has been shown to have a good overall success rate, which seems comparable to dextranomer hyaluronic acid (Dx/HA), currently the most popular bulking agent. Our objective was to compare the short-term success rate of PAHG and Dx/HA for VUR endoscopic treatment in children.
Methods: We performed a prospective non-randomized study using PAHG and Dx/HA to treat VUR grades I to IV in pediatric patients. All patients underwent endoscopic sub-ureteric injection of PAHG or Dx/HA, using the double-HIT technique, followed by a 3-month postoperative renal ultrasound and voiding cystourethrogram. Treatment success was defined as the absence of de novo or worsening hydronephrosis and absence of VUR.
Results: A total of 90 pediatric patients underwent an endoscopic injection: 45 patients (78 ureters) with PAHG and 45 patients (71 ureters) with Dx/HA. The mean injected volume of PAHG and Dx/HA was 1.1 mL and 1.0 mL, respectively. The overall success rate 3 months after a single treatment was 73.1% for PAHG and 77.5% for Dx/HA. Postoperatively, 1 patient in each group presented with acute pyelonephritis and 2 patients in the Dx/HA group developed symptomatic ureteral obstruction.
Conclusion: Success rates of PAGH and Dx/HA in endoscopic injections for VUR treatment were comparable. The rate of resolution obtained with Dx/HA was equivalent to those previously published. The lower cost of PAHG makes it an interesting option.