Risk of bladder cancer in patients with spina bifida: Case reports and review of the literature

Katelin Mirkin, Jessica T. Casey, Shubhra Mukherjee, Stephanie J. Kielb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This article presents four cases of patients with spina bifida who developed bladder cancer while under our care and provides a literature review on the incidence, initial presentation, possible etiologies, and role for screening for bladder cancer in the neurogenic bladder population. METHODS: Case reports of four patients are presented followed by a literature review of the current available studies. RESULTS: Patients with spina bifida present with bladder cancer at an atypically young age with very advanced disease. The dire prognosis associated with bladder cancer in these patients demands that we provide better treatment, diagnosis, and prevention modalities. However, the potential morbidity, financial burden, and lack of proven benefit discourage cystoscopic screening in this patient population. Until we have more data on how to best serve spina bifida patients, this population should receive careful and regular urologic follow-up. CONCLUSION: Given the atypical young age of presentation and very advanced nature of bladder cancer in the spina bifida population, the authors strongly recommend that any new bladder changes, such as including increased urinary leakage, pain, recurrent infections, or increased gross hematuria, prompt immediate urologic referral for endoscopic evaluation and biopsy as indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 13 2013


  • Bladder cancer
  • Catheterization
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Spina bifida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk of bladder cancer in patients with spina bifida: Case reports and review of the literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this