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atent urachus refers to one condition in a rare spectrum of disorders referred to as urachal anomalies. These conditions result from the failure of the involution of normal embryologic tissues that serve to empty the fetal bladder. The location and amount of persistent tissue dictate the presenting symptoms. Some of these urachal anomalies are obvious at birth, while others are more subtle and not diagnosed until adulthood or only incidentally discovered after imaging is obtained for other reasons. Historically, surgical resection of urachal anomalies was routinely undertaken, given the potential for malignancy in retained ectopic tissue. Early surgical resection has been challenged by many studies demonstrating not only the low incidence of the condition in general but the even lower chance of future malignancy. Accurate and expeditious diagnosis of urachal anomalies in the child with umbilical wetness, persistent drainage, recurrent urinary tract infections, and recurrent umbilical infections is required to assist with symptom relief, avoid recurrent severe infection, and to provide definitive treatment.

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Last updated: April 2020

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