The causes of prune belly syndrome are unknown. The condition affects mostly boys.
While in the womb, the developing baby's abdomen swells with fluid. That fluid disappears after birth, leading to a wrinkled abdomen that looks like a prune. The appearance is more noticeable due to the lack of abdominal muscles.
Disease of the urinary tract (patients may need dialysis and a kidney transplant)
Undescended testicles can lead to infertility or cancer.
Calling your health care provider
Prune belly syndrome is usually diagnosed before birth or when the baby is born.
If you have a child with diagnosed prune belly syndrome, call your health care provider at the first sign of a urinary tract infection or other urinary symptoms.
If a pregnancy ultrasound shows that your baby has a distended bladder or enlarged kidneys, talk to a specialist in high-risk pregnancy or perinatology.
There is no known way to prevent this condition. If the baby is diagnosed with a urinary tract obstruction before birth, in rare cases surgery during the pregnancy may help prevent the problem from progressing to prune belly syndrome.
Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.