Bladder Exstrophy and Epispadias Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

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Contact the Department of Urology

  • 617-355-7796

At Boston Children’s Hospital, our care is informed by our research. Our discoveries in the laboratory strengthen the care we provide at each child's bedside. 

Researchers are looking into ways to use tissue-engineering techniques to treat children with bladder exstrophy.

At Boston Children's, researchers participated in the successful rebuilding of the first complex organ, the bladder, from living tissue cultivated in the lab. They first took a few healthy cells from the patient’s bladder then grew new bladders to transplant into their young patients. Since the bladders were built from the patients’ own cells, there was no danger of an immune-system reaction.

Some of our other research projects include:

  • early outcome of patients with bladder exstrophy following complete primary repair exstrophy (CPRE)
  • growth and development of the bladder following the repair
  • imaging of the pelvis in patients with bladder exstrophy using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • need for bladder neck reconstruction in kids that undergo CPRE
  • urodynamics (bladder function testing) and metabolic characteristics of patients with stomach-intestinal augments
  • measuring the quality of life in kids and parents dealing with bladder exstrophy

Fetal intervention
Our researchers are studying antenatal (before birth) intervention, such as covering the exstrophy tissue or repairing the exstrophy itself in utero (while the baby is still in the womb). Investigational efforts in an animal model have proven the capability of taking a biopsy of the fetal bladder tissue, expanding this tissue in the laboratory and having it available for postnatal return to the newborn if deemed necessary.

Innovative surgical techniques
Newer, more effective surgical techniques and approaches are being developed to treat children with bladder exstrophy, including robotic surgery. This allows specially trained surgeons to use a high-tech robot to perform a number of complex and delicate operations through very small surgical openings, which reduces a child’s pain, recovery time, hospital stay and scars

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944