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dysfunction is a prominent autonomic feature in Parkinson's disease
(PD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), which is not only troublesome
but also a cause of morbidity in these disorders. Recent advances in
investigative uroneurology offer a better insight into the underlying
pathophysiology and appropriate management for urinary dysfunction.
METHODS—twenty one patients with PD (15 men, six women, mean age 64 (49-76), mean disease duration 4 years (1-8 years), median Hoehn and Yahr grade 3 (1-4), all taking 300 mg/day of levodopa (100-500 mg)) and 15 with MSA (eight men, seven women, mean age 59 (48-72), mean disease duration 3 years (0.5-6 years)) were recruited. Videourodynamic and sphincter motor unit potential analyses in the patients with PD and MSA were carried out, looking for distinguishing hallmarks that might be useful in the differential diagnosis of these two diseases.
RESULTS—Urinary symptoms were found in 72% of patients with PD and in 100% with MSA. Filling phase abnormalities in the videourodynamic study included detrusor hyperreflexia in 81% of patients with PD and 56% with MSA, and uninhibited external sphincter relaxation in 33% of patients with PD and 33% of those with MSA. However, open bladder neck at the start of filling was not seen in patients with PD but was present in 53% of those with MSA, suggestive of internal sphincter denervation. Sphincter motor unit potential analysis showed neurogenic motor unit potentials in 5% of patients with PD and in 93% of those with MSA, suggestive of external sphincter denervation. On voiding, detrusor-external sphincter dyssynergia was not seen in patients with PD but was present in 47% of those with MSA. Pressure-flow analysis showed that the Abrams-Griffiths number, a grading of urethral obstruction (outflow obstruction >40), in PD (40 in women and 43 in men) was larger than that in MSA (12 in women and 28 in men). Weak detrusor in PD (66% of women and 40% of men) was less common than that in MSA (71% of women and 63% of men). Postmicturition residuals >100 ml were absent in patients with PD but were present in 47% of patients with MSA.
CONCLUSION—Patients with PD had less severe urinary dysfunction with little evidence of internal or external sphincter denervation, by contrast with the common findings in MSA. The findings of postmicturition residuals >100 ml, detrusor-external sphincter dyssynergia, open bladder neck at the start of bladder filling, and neurogenic sphincter motor unit potentials are highly suggestive of MSA.