Table 1Lower urinary tract dysfunctions that can be seen with damage at different levels within the nervous system

Bladder functionSphincter function
Brain conditionsOveractive (neurogenic detrusor overactivity) – more common.
Underactive – less common.
Usually normal.
Coordinated with bladder function.
Suprasacral spinal cord conditionsOveractive (neurogenic detrusor overactivity).Uncoordinated with bladder function in some cases (detrusor sphincter dyssynergia).
Sacral spinal cord or peripheral nerve conditionsUnderactive.
Impaired bladder compliance in some cases.

Note: The table provides an overview of typical patterns of neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. Individual patients will exhibit a pattern of dysfunction which is dependent on the site and severity of the neurological damage. The effect of neurological damage on urinary tract sensation is variable; sensation may be absent (e.g. in complete spinal cord injury), impaired or preserved.

From: 2, Introduction

Cover of Urinary Incontinence in Neurological Disease
Urinary Incontinence in Neurological Disease: Management of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction in Neurological Disease.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 148.
National Clinical Guideline Centre (UK).
Copyright © 2012, National Clinical Guideline Centre.

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