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Investig Clin Urol. 2017 Dec;58(Suppl 2):S99-S106. doi: 10.4111/icu.2017.58.S2.S99. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

New therapeutic directions to treat underactive bladder.

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Department of Urology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Underactive bladder (UAB) is a term used to describe a constellation of symptoms that is perceived by patients suggesting bladder hypocontractility. Urodynamic measurement that suggest decreased contractility of the bladder is termed detrusor underactivity (DUA). Regulatory approved specific management options with clinically proven ability to increase bladder contractility do not currently exist. While DUA specific treatments presumably will focus on methods to increase efficiency of bladder emptying capability relying on augmenting the motor pathway in the micturition reflex, other approaches include methods to augment the sensory (afferent) contribution to the micturition reflex which could result in increased detrusor contractility. Another method to induce more efficient bladder emptying could be to induce relaxation of the bladder outlet. Using cellular regenerative techniques, the detrusor smooth muscle can be targeted so the result is to increase detrusor smooth muscle function. In this review, we will cover areas of potential new therapies for DUA including: drug therapy, stem cells and regenerative therapies, neuromodulation, and urethral flow assist device. Paralleling development of new therapies, there also needs to be clinical studies performed that address how DUA relates to UAB.


Detrusor underactivity; Future treatments; Underactive bladder

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