, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 123-128

Is sensory urgency part of the same spectrum of bladder dysfunction as detrusor overactivity?

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It has been suggested that the urogynecological diagnosis of sensory urgency is an early form of detrusor overactivity and may be just earlier in the spectrum of disease. The former term is generally defined as increased perceived bladder sensation during filling, a low first desire to void and low bladder capacity in the absence of recorded urinary tract infection (UTI) or detrusor overactivity. The aims of this study are to determine the prevalence and associations of sensory urgency in comparison with detrusor overactivity, and whether sensory urgency is shown to be in the same spectrum of bladder dysfunction as detrusor overactivity. Five hundred and ninety-two women attending for an initial urogynecological/urodynamic assessment took part in this prospective study. In addition to a full clinical assessment, all women underwent free uroflowmetry, residual urine volume measurement (by vaginal ultrasound) and multichannel filling and voiding cystometry. Data were separated into those having (1) sensory urgency or (2) detrusor overactivity. Apart from prevalence figures, comparative associations were sought for (3) age; (4) parity; (5) presenting symptoms; (6) presence of at least one (medically) documented UTI in the previous 12 months; (7) two or more (recurrent) documented UTIs in the previous 12 months; (8) prior hysterectomy; (9) prior continence surgery; (10) menopause; (11) menopause and HRT use; (12) sign of clinical stress leakage; (13) retroverted uterus; (14) anterior vaginal wall prolapse; (15) uterine prolapse; (16) posterior vaginal wall prolapse; (17) apical vaginal prolapse; (18, 19) maximum, average urine flow rate (MUFR, AUFR) centiles, Liverpool Nomograms; (20) median residual urine volume (RUV) in milliliters; (21, 22) voiding difficulty: VD1,VD2 (MUFR, AUFR under 10th centile Liverpool Nomogram and/or RUV >30 ml); (23) diagnosis of urodynamic stress incontinence and (24) diagnosis of uterine and/or vaginal prolapse (grade >0). The prevalence of sensory urgency was 13%. The only differences in the clinical and urodynamic profiles of it and detrusor overactivity were (1) significantly increased prevalence of the symptom of urge incontinence and (2) (by definition) abnormal detrusor contractions during filling cystometry in women with detrusor overactivity. Overall, sensory urgency and detrusor overactivity appear to be part of the same spectrum of bladder dysfunction.