The study, “Lower urinary tract dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis: A post-void residual analysis of 501 cases,” was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.
Urinary tract disorders occur frequently with MS, with a prevalence that ranges from 32–96.8% of cases, and they can have a significant impact on quality of life.
One measure that neurologists have found useful in assessing urinary problems is the post-void residual (PVR) test, which measures the volume of urine left in the bladder at the completion of urinating, or the post-void residual volume. Done by ultrasound, it is a non-invasive test for evaluating urinary dysfunction.
Despite its reported utility among patients with neurological disorders such as MS, little evidence supports its use as a clinical tool. Also, values that define what constitutes MS-related urinary retention are not well established.
A team of researchers from the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society (AISM) and the University of Siena conducted a study to better understand how PVR volume is distributed among MS patients with and without LUTS, as well as to assess the relationships between PVR and the symptoms of storage versus voiding.
In total, 501 MS patients (mean age 56) were recruited from the AISM Rehabilitation Service in Genoa, Italy. The team designed a questionnaire to investigate both clinician-assessed and patient-reported outcomes on LUTS.
Patients in the study showed a high prevalence of LUTS, at 91.4%, or 458 patients. Of those, 130 (28.4%) had documented recurrent urinary tract infections, 437 (87.2%) reported storage-related symptoms, and 326 (65.1%) reported at least one voiding-related symptom. Two-thirds of the patients (66.5%) in the study reported three or more LUTS.
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