Impact and frequency of extra-genitourinary manifestations of prune belly syndrome

G. M. Grimsby, S. M. Harrison, C. F. Granberg, I. H. Bernstein, L. A. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Prune belly syndrome (PBS) extra-genitourinary (extra-GU) manifestations are serious comorbidities beyond the genitourinary (GU) anomalies of this disease. We hypothesized an underestimation of the reported frequency and understated impact on quality of life (QOL) of extra-GU comorbidities in PBS survivors beyond the newborn period. To assess this, the frequencies of extra-GU manifestations of PBS in a contemporary cohort of living patients were compared to compiled frequencies from published literature. Second, the impact of extra-GU PBS manifestations on patient/family QOL was assessed via a non-validated open-ended survey. Material and methods: From 2010 to 2013, PBS survivors were prospectively recruited locally or at three PBS Network National Conventions. The family/subject was asked to complete a detailed PBS questionnaire, non-validated QOL survey, and provide medical records for review. Clinical data were extracted from medical records for local patients. The frequencies of extra-GU manifestations were compared between the contemporary, living cohort and a published literature cohort derived from PubMed. Results and discussion: Seven of 706 published studies met criteria for frequencies tabulation of extra-GU PBS manifestations. This largest reported living PBS patient cohort (n = 65) was 99% male with mean age 10 years (1 month-45 years). The living PBS cohort had a statistically significantly higher incidence of gastrointestinal (63%), orthopedic (65%), and cardiopulmonary (49%) diagnoses compared to the compiled published cohort (n = 204). Eleven PBS males and 32 family members completed the QOL survey. Of these, 47% listed at least one non-GU problem (i.e. lung disease, skeletal problems, constipation) as negatively affecting their QOL; 42% listed at least one GU problem (i.e. self-catheterization, recurrent UTIs) as negatively affecting their QOL; 56% reported musculoskeletal surgery and 21% reported gastrointestinal surgery/medication as positively impacting their QOL. Conclusions: In this large contemporary series, surviving individuals with PBS had a significantly higher incidence of orthopedic, gastrointestinal, and cardiopulmonary diagnoses than previously reported in PBS publications. From the patient/family QOL perspective, non-GU PBS manifestations negatively impact their QOL and treatment of these non-GU conditions improves their lives. As urologic surgeons for these medically complex patients, it is extremely important to be aware of and prepare for the high incidence of non-GU PBS comorbidities directly impacting the medical and surgical treatment and QOL of PBS patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280.e1-280.e6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Orthopedic
  • Prune belly syndrome
  • Scoliosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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