Delayed presentation of posterior urethral valves: A not so benign condition

M. David Bomalaski, John G. Anema, Douglas E. Coplen, Harry P. Koo, Thomas Rozanski, David A. Bloom

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56 Scopus citations


Purpose: Posterior urethral valves are usually detected during infancy by prenatal sonography. Rarely they may be diagnosed during later childhood, adolescence or even adulthood. Less is known about presentation and outcome in these older patients. We reviewed our experience at 4 institutions with the late presentation of posterior urethral valves. Materials and Methods: A 13-year retrospective review revealed the late presentation of posterior urethral valves in 47 patients 5 to 35 years old (mean age 8). Data collected included presenting symptomatology, radiographic findings and renal function. Statistical analysis determined the relationships among presenting symptoms, patient age at diagnosis and renal function. Results: The most common presenting symptoms were diurnal enuresis in 60% of the cases, urinary tract infection in 40% and voiding pain in 13%. Other presenting symptoms in less than 10% of the cases included poor stream, gross hematuria and proteinuria. At diagnosis hydronephrosis and vesicoureteral reflux were present in 40 and 33% of the patients, respectively, while serum creatinine was elevated in 35% and end stage renal disease had developed in 10%. The severity of presenting signs and symptoms was significantly associated with renal impairment, while patient age at diagnosis was not. Conclusions: Posterior urethral valves is not merely a disease of infancy. Voiding cystourethrography should be considered in boys older than 5 years who have voiding complaints, especially in association with diurnal enuresis or urinary tract infection. Patients who present late with posterior urethral valves are at risk for progression to end stage renal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2130-2132
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Abnormalities
  • Chronic
  • Enuresis
  • Kidney failure
  • Urethra
  • Urinary tract infections


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