The Role of Non-invasive Testing in Evaluation and Diagnosis of Pediatric Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction

  • Jason P. Van Batavia
  • Andrew J. Combs
Pediatric Urology (D Weiss, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Urology


Purpose of Review

The symptoms of lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) including urinary incontinence, frequency, and urgency are among the most common reasons children are referred to pediatric urologists. Despite this, the workup for LUTD is often time consuming and a source of frustration for patients, parents, and clinicians alike. In the current review, we summarize the important role non-invasive testing plays in the diagnosis and management of children with LUTD and to show how use of these tests can help avoid the need for more invasive testing in the majority of children.

Recent Findings

Non-invasive tests such urine studies, uroflowmetry ± simultaneous electromyography, assessment of post-void residual, renal/bladder ultrasound, and pelvic ultrasound when used appropriately can provide valuable information to facilitate decision making during the evaluation of children with LUTD. While these tests should be employed prior to more invasive testing such as urodynamic studies, they can often act as a surrogate for the more invasive tests.


Non-invasive tests can help us in our goal of improving diagnostic ability to better classify the child’s LUTD into an actual condition which allows targeted treatment in the hope of better outcomes and more satisfied patients and families.


Non-invasive testing Voiding dysfunction Pediatrics Uroflowmetry with EMG EMG lag time 



This work was supported in part by the 2016–2017 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award Program (JPV) and by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number KL2TR001879 (JPV). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official vies of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jason P. Van Batavia reports part of his salary supported by the Urology Care Foundation and grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (KL2TR001879). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Andrew J. Combs declares no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of UrologyChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of UrologyNew York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Pediatric UrologyNew YorkUSA

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