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OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of pre- vs postnatally diagnosed posterior urethral valves (PUV) at two large paediatric centres in North America to ascertain if the prenatal diagnosis of PUV is associated with better outcomes.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: All boys with PUV were identified at two large paediatric institutions in North America between 2000 and 2020 (The Hospital for Sick Children [SickKids, SK] and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia [CHOP]). Baseline characteristics and outcome measures were compared between those diagnosed pre- vs postnatally. Main outcomes of interest included progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the need for renal replacement therapy (RRT), and bladder function compromise, as determined by need for clean intermittent catheterisation (CIC). Time-to-event analyses were completed when possible.
RESULTS: During the study period, 152 boys with PUV were treated at the SK (39% prenatal) and 216 were treated at the CHOP (71% prenatal). At the SK, there was no difference between the pre- and postnatal groups in the proportion of boys who required RRT, progressed to CKD Stage ≥3, or who were managed with CIC when comparing the timing of diagnosis. The time to event for RRT and CIC was significantly younger for prenatally detected PUV. At the CHOP, significantly more prenatal boys required RRT; however, there was no significant difference in the age this outcome was reached. The proportion of boys managed with CIC was not different but the time to event was significantly earlier in the prenatal group.
CONCLUSION: This study represents the largest multi-institutional series of boys with PUV and failed to identify any difference in the outcomes of pre- vs postnatal detection of PUV. A multidisciplinary approach with standardisation of the treatment pathways will help in understanding the true impact of prenatal/early detection on outcomes of PUV.