Prune belly syndrome can be diagnosed via ultrasound while a child is still in-utero. An abnormally large abdominal mass is the key indicator, as the abdomen swells with the pressure of accumulated urine. In young children, frequent urinary tract infections often herald prune belly syndrome, as they are normally uncommon. If a problem is suspected, doctors can perform blood tests to check kidney function. Another test that may reveal the syndrome is the voiding cystourethrogram.
A genetic predisposition has been suggested, and PBS is much more common when the baby is a twin, although all reported twin births have been discordant.
The type of treatment, like that of most disorders, depends on the severity of the symptoms. One option is to perform a vesicostomy, which allows the bladder to drain through a small hole in the abdomen. A more drastic procedure is a surgical "remodeling" of the abdominal wall and urinary tract. Boys may have an orchiopexy, which moves the testicles to their proper place in the scrotum.
Even with treatment, many patients experience renal failure.