Current pharmacological and surgical treatment of underactive bladder

Generally accepted guidelines are not yet available on the management of underactive bladder (UAB). Although the natural history of UAB is still not fully understood, observation may be an acceptable management option in patients with tolerable lower urinary tract symptoms and little risk of upper urinary tract damage. If needed, scheduled and double voiding may be recommended as an effective and safe add-on therapy. Parasympathomimetics have been widely used for the management of UAB, but the evidence does not support clinical benefit. The efficacy of alpha-blockers has also not yet been clearly demonstrated. However, selective alpha-blockers may help to enhance voiding efficiency and to decrease possible upper tract damage. Sacral neuromodulation is a surgical option for nonobstructive UAB approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the response rate of test stimulation is not high and the efficacy of permanent implants does not always coincide with that of test stimulation. Although surgery to reduce outlet resistance may be a viable option in UAB with presumed obstruction, surgery seems to have little role in those without obstruction. Latissimus dorsi detrusor myoplasty has shown promising results in restoring voluntary voiding in selected patients. The procedure requires a multidisciplinary team approach of urologists and plastic reconstructive experts. In summary, current treatments of UAB remain unsatisfactory. The multifactorial nature of UAB pathogenesis complicates the appropriate management for each patient. Future research to establish a more clinically relevant definition of UAB will be required to open new era of UAB management.

Investigative and clinical urology. 2017 Nov 17 [Epub]

Dae Kyung Kim

Department of Urology, Eulji University Hospital, Eulji University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.