Underactive Bladder: Clinical Features, Urodynamic Parameters, and Treatment

Underactive bladder is a complex clinical condition that remains poorly understood due to limited literature. This study aimed to determine its prevalence among patients with voiding dysfunction, presenting symptoms, risk factors, urodynamic findings, and ongoing treatment.

A retrospective chart review of consecutive urodynamic studies performed on voiding dysfunction between 2012 and 2014 was conducted to identify patients with detrusor underactivity. Detrusor underactivity was defined by a bladder contractility index of less than 100. Charts and urodynamic tracings were examined for patient demographics, suspected risk factors, presenting symptoms, urodynamic parameters, and treatment undertaken. Descriptive statistics were utilized to analyze the data.

The prevalence of detrusor underactivity in this study was 23% (79 of 343). Average age of the patients was 59. 2 years (range, 19-90 years). Women represented 68. 4% (54 of 79) of the patients. The most common reported symptoms were urinary urgency (63. 3%), weak stream (61. 0%), straining (57. 0%), nocturia (48. 1%), and urinary frequency (46. 8%). Prior pelvic surgery and prior back surgery were noted in 40. 5% and 19. 0% of the patients, respectively. The most common management was intermittent self-catheterization in 54. 4%, followed by observation/conservative treatment in 25. 3% and sacral neuromodulation in 12. 7%.

Although underactive bladder is a common condition, its precise diagnosis and treatment remain a challenge. Its symptoms significantly overlap with those of other bladder disorders, and hence, urodynamic evaluation is particularly useful in identifying patients with impaired detrusor contractility. This will help prevent mismanagement of patients with surgery or medical therapy, as that may worsen their condition. Much work needs to be done to better understand this condition and establish optimal management of patients.

International neurourology journal. 2015 Sep 22 [Epub]

Nathan Hoag, Johan Gani

Department of Urology, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. , Department of Urology, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

PubMed      Full Text Article

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