Is bladder dysfunction and incontinence associated with ureteroceles congenital or acquired?

Nicholas M. Holmes, Douglas E. Coplen, William Strand, Douglas Husmann, Laurence S. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Bladder dysfunction (a disorder often characterized by incontinence, urgency, patterns of dysfunctional voiding, incomplete emptying and so forth) in association with ureteroceles has been attributed to surgical intervention. A previous study suggested that patients with ectopic ureteroceles may have bladder dysfunction as part of this disorder regardless of the type of surgical intervention. We reviewed all types of ureteroceles (ectopic versus intravesical, simple versus duplex) to characterize the patterns of bladder dysfunction and its association with prior surgical treatments. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of medical records was performed as part of a multi-institutional study. From 1986 to 2000, 616 patients were identified with ureteroceles. Bladder dysfunction was determined by detailed history (that is, voiding diary) plus urodynamic evaluation when deemed appropriate. Results: Based on initial history, 39 of 616 (6.3%) patients had some form of bladder dysfunction and 34 of the 39 underwent urodynamics. All patients had ectopic ureteroceles of duplex systems. The most common symptoms of bladder dysfunction were urinary urgency and incontinence. Infrequent voiding, less than 4 voids daily, occurred in 13% (5 of 39) of the patients. Of the 33 incontinent patients 7% (2) had undergone endoscopic surgery, 12% (4) open lower tract surgery, 45% (15) a combination of upper and lower tract surgery and 36% (12) open upper tract surgery alone. Bilateral ureteroceles did not seem to increase the risk of bladder dysfunction. The majority (35 of 39) of patients with bladder dysfunction responded to behavioral modifications and medical therapy. Conclusions: Bladder dysfunction associated with ureteroceles occurs in approximately 6% of patients regardless of surgical therapy. The fact that patients treated with upper tract surgery alone have similar rates of incontinence suggests that bladder dysfunction is congenital as opposed to surgically acquired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-719
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Enuresis
  • Ureterocele
  • Urinary incontinence


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