Baseline Urinary Tract Imaging in Infants Enrolled in the UMPIRE Protocol for Children with Spina Bifida

Stacy T. Tanaka, Pangaja Paramsothy, Judy Thibadeau, John S. Wiener, David B. Joseph, Earl Y. Cheng, Duong Tu, Christopher Austin, Chester J. Koh, M. Chad Wallis, William O. Walker, Kathryn A. Smith, Jonathan C. Routh, Michelle A. Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: The lifetime risk of renal damage in children with spina bifida is high but only limited baseline imaging data are available for this population. We evaluated a large prospective cohort of infants with spina bifida to define their baseline imaging characteristics. Materials and Methods: The UMPIRE Protocol for Young Children with Spina Bifida is an iterative quality improvement protocol that follows a cohort of newborns at 9 United States centers. Using descriptive statistics, we report the initial baseline imaging characteristics, specifically regarding renal bladder ultrasound, cystogram and dimercaptosuccinic acid nuclear medicine scan. Results: Data on 193 infants from 2015 to 2018 were analyzed. Renal-bladder ultrasound was normal in 55.9% of infants, while 40.4% had Society for Fetal Urology grade 1 to 2 hydronephrosis in at least 1 kidney, 3.7% had grade 3 to 4 hydronephrosis in either kidney and 21.8% had grade 1 or higher bilateral hydronephrosis. There was no vesicoureteral reflux in 84.6% of infants. A third of enrolled infants underwent dimercaptosuccinic acid nuclear medicine renal scan, of whom 92.4% had no renal defects and 93.9% had a difference in differential function of less than 15%. Conclusions: The majority of infants born with spina bifida have normal baseline imaging characteristics and normal urinary tract anatomy at birth. This proactive protocol offers careful scheduled surveillance of the urinary tract with the goal of lifelong maintenance of normal renal function and healthy genitourinary development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1198
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • pediatrics
  • spinal dysraphism
  • ultrasonography
  • urology
  • vesico-ureteral reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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