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  • Updated 09.25.2023
  • Released 07.17.2000
  • Expires For CME 09.25.2026

Urinary dysfunction in neurologic disorders



Every neurologic disease affecting the central or peripheral nervous system may disturb neuronal control of the lower urinary tract, leading to bladder storage and emptying dysfunction. Consequently, patients may report various symptoms (eg, incontinence or retention), and high intravesical pressure during the storage phase may jeopardize the upper urinary tract and kidney function due to secondary changes to the bladder and ureters (eg, vesico-uretero-renal reflux).

Knowledge of the neuropathophysiology of bladder control and its relationship to lower urinary tract dysfunction is the key to improving the management of patients with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. This article includes updated information on the diagnosis and management of lower urinary tract dysfunction in various neurologic diseases.

Key points

• Patients with neurologic disease often develop neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction affecting urine storage and emptying.

• Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction may cause bladder storage and emptying symptoms and jeopardize long-term kidney function.

• Lower urinary tract dysfunction needs treatment when symptoms are bothersome and complications such as recurrent symptomatic urinary tract infections or secondary changes to the bladder (diverticula) or ureters (reflux) occur.

• Neurogenic detrusor overactivity may lead to elevated intravesical pressures jeopardizing the upper urinary tract.

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