Is there a unique symptom in lower urinary tract dysfunction in children?

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), particularly urgency, incontinence and intermittency are common in children and it is suggested that the specific symptoms may be used for definite diagnosis for LUT dysfunction (LUTD). This study was performed to investigate the relationship between each LUTD and its associated symptoms, using uroflowmetry/electromyography (UF/EMG) as a diagnostic tool.

Each patient was categorized into one of four LUT conditions which were overactive bladder (OAB), dysfunctional voiding (DV), underactive bladder and primary bladder neck dysfunction (PBND), according to UF/EMG results. Patients' complaints and findings were documented by using voiding dysfunction symptom score, bladder diary, urine analysis and ultrasonography. In addition, a detailed history of bowel habits (including use of Rome III criteria) was obtained.

There were 189 children of which 106 were female. The OAB was the largest group including 91 patients, followed by the DV group which had 61 patients. The symptoms specific to any LUTD group were constipation and hesitancy (P < .05). Hesitancy was present in 89.4% with PBND and constipation was present in 78.6% of patients with DV. None of other symptoms were able to differentiate any LUTD group from the other.

While certain symptoms are often presumed by clinicians to imply specific diagnoses, the main outcome of this study is that there is a generally weak correlation between the specificity of symptoms and LUTD. Symptoms-based approach may lead to misdiagnosis in LUTD. Thus, it may be essential to focus on the underlying pathologies and UF/EMG test may help this.

Lower urinary tract symptoms. 2020 Nov 02 [Epub ahead of print]

Mehmet A Özen, Mehmet Taşdemir, Murat S Aygün, Işıl Necef, Emrah Aydın, Ilmay Bilge, Egemen Eroğlu

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey., Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey., Department of Radiology, Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey., Department of Psychiatry, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey.