Prospective follow-up of overactive bladder symptoms in patients with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in genitourinary symptoms, such as frequency, urgency, nocturia, and pain/pressure. In this study, we followed the progression of overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms in patients that reported new or worsening OAB symptoms after coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) diagnosis.

Individuals from a COVID-19 serology study were invited to participate in a follow-up study. Respondents were divided into three groups based on prior COVID-19 testing. Patients scored symptoms retrospectively before the pandemic, at study onset, and prospectively during 12-month follow-up. Genitourinary symptoms were assessed using international consultation on incontinence questionaire for OAB (ICIQ-OAB). Change in ICIQ-OAB scores from baseline were calculated. The minimal important difference of one on ICIQ-OAB is considered a significant change.

26.0% of participants previously had positive COVID polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (PCR+), 5.6% a positive serology test only (Ser+), and 65.5% were COVID naïve (COVID-). 23.8% of participants reported a significant increase in ICIQ-OAB score at study onset compared to prepandemic. ICIQ-OAB scores were similar at prepandemic but significantly higher at study start (p < 0.001) in PCR+ group. During follow-up, change in ICIQ-OAB scores from baseline remained unchanged for COVID- group, but gradually reduced for PCR+, reaching similar levels as COVID- group by 12 months. By 12 months, 71.4% of PCR+, 42.9% of Ser+, and 68.8% of COVID- participants still reported significant increase in ICIQ-OAB scores.

Most COVID-19 patients experienced return of symptoms to baseline, indicative of the potential resolution of COVID-associated cystitis. A subset of cases did not, raising questions about the underlying factors contributing to this outcome. Additional research is needed to assess long COVID on urological health.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2024 Jun 03 [Epub ahead of print]

Priya Padmanabhan, Ly Hoang Roberts, Michael B Chancellor, Kenneth M Peters, Bernadette M M Zwaans

Department of Urology, Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA., Department of Urology, Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.