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Handb Clin Neurol. 2015;130:203-24. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63247-0.00012-2.

Lower urinary tract dysfunction in patients with peripheral nervous system lesions.

Author information

1
Institute of Clinical Neurophysiology, Division of Neurology, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Electronic address: simon.podnar@kclj.si.
2
Division of Neurology, University Medical Center Ljubljana, and Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Abstract

The prevalence of lower urinary tract (LUT) dysfunction in peripheral nervous system (PNS) disorders is larger than in comparable control populations. This is particularly true for polyneuropathies with autonomic nervous system involvement, and for localized lesions with LUT innervation. LUT symptoms may be the guide to the diagnosis of processes localized in the lumbosacral spinal canal (as in cauda equina syndrome), and in the pelvis. Typical LUT dysfunctions (LUTD) caused by PNS involvement include bladder and sphincter hypoactivity with poor emptying, and incontinence. Paradoxically, bladder overactivity may also occur in pure PNS lesions. The acute cauda equina syndrome is an emergency requiring magnetic resonance imaging and surgery; in chronic neurogenic LUTD due to PNS involvement, the diagnosis of the lesion may be clarified by clinical neurophysiologic testing. Other important causes of neurogenic LUT dysfunction are perineoabdominal and pelvic surgeries. Surgeons are devising nerve-sparing techniques to prevent such major and often persistent complications in patients who are otherwise cured of the underlying disease. LUTD significantly affects the quality of life in patients and may lead to recurring urinary infections and upper urinary tract involvement. Thorough assessment of LUT function by urodynamics may be necessary in patients who are not improved by simple conservative measures.

KEYWORDS:

amyloidosis; cauda equina lesion; diabetes; lower urinary tract dysfunction; pelvic nerve lesion; peripheral nervous system; polyneuropathy; urinary incontinence

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