Posterior Urethral Valves

Also known as: PUV.

What are posterior urethral valves?

The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the tip of the penis in boys. Posterior urethral valve is a birth defect (congenital) where a baby is born with small, narrow urethral leaflets (valves) that have a very narrow opening (of varying size) which partially blocks the flow of urine leaving the bladder allowing urine in the bladder to “back up” causing damage to the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys.

What causes posterior urethral valves? 

The development of posterior urethral valves occurs very early in the development of a fetus. The exact cause isn’t clear, usually occurring sporadically. There may however  be a genetic component as it is seen more often in twins.

What are the symptoms of posterior urethral valves? 

Symptoms may be mild to severe. Common ones include an enlarged bladder felt as an abdominal mass, painful urination, weak urine stream, urinary frequency, urinary tract infections, bedwetting, and poor weight gain.

What are posterior urethral valves care options? 

Posterior urethral valves are most commonly treated with surgical removal (endoscopic ablation) to remove the excess tissue after relieving the child’s symptoms.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/30/2018 9:32:29 AM

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