Neurogenic Bladder (Pediatric)

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What is neurogenic bladder?

Neurogenic bladder may also be called neuropathic bladder. Muscles and nerves of the urinary system work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the appropriate time. Nerves carry messages from the bladder to the brain and from the brain to the bladder's muscles telling them either to tighten or release. In a neurogenic bladder, the nerves that carry these messages do not work properly, essentially paralyzing the bladder.

What causes neurogenic bladder?

In children, a neurogenic bladder may be secondary to a birth defect or acquired as the result of a different problem. Common causes of neurogenic bladder are:

  • blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • BUN
  • central nervous system tumors
  • creatinine clearance
  • CT scan
  • electrolytes
  • increased frequency of urination
  • intravenous pyelogram
  • nuclear scan of kidneys
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain during urination (stinging and burning)
  • spina bifida defect during early fetal development (incomplete bony closure of the spinal cord through which the spinal cord may or may not protrude)
  • spinal cord trauma
  • tenderness in the abdomen and kidney region
  • urinary tract infection (fever, chills, and loss of appetite)
  • voiding cystourethrogram

What are the symptoms of neurogenic bladder?

Each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms vary depending on the cause of neurogenic bladder and other associated conditions, and may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

How is neurogenic bladder diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for neurogenic bladder may include:

During this study, your child's bladder will be filled with saline so that the bladder volume and pressure may be measured. The tone or amount of contraction of the bladder can also be determined.