Testing & Diagnosis for Bladder Exstrophy and Epispadias in Children

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Bladder exstrophy may be diagnosed either immediately at birth based on typical physical findings, during a fetal ultrasound or other imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In most cases, exstrophy of the bladder is associated with the following:

  • shortened penis with the inner lining of the urethra exposed (epispadias) and open along the top surface of the penis in boys or in the surface of the body between the abnormally divided clitoris in girls
  • abnormally separated (spread to the side) lower abdominal wall muscles
  • displacement of the umbilical cord usually immediately above the bladder
  • umbilical hernia may be present (section of intestine protrudes through a weakness in the abdominal muscles)absence of a normal appearing belly button
  • anterior displacement of the anus such that the anus opens on the skin closer to the scrotum in the boys or vagina in girls
  • widened and shortened pubic and other pelvic bones
  • outwardly rotated legs and feet in some boys and girls
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