In the latest recommendation, the ICS had updated the definition for OAB syndrome into urgency, with or without urge incontinence, usually with frequency and nocturia [1
]. The main symptom of this definition is the urgency symptom, but it is unclear what this is based on. Although according to the ICS definition, urodynamic study is not required routinely to make a diagnosis of OAB, some physicians are concerned that a correct diagnosis will be missed in many patients, and they will not receive appropriate treatment because the bladder has been described as an unreliable witness [6
Sekido et al. [7
] retrospectively evaluated 50 patients (12 males and 38 females) with OAB symptoms in regard to urodynamic parameters and the presence or absence of DO. The overall incidence of DO was 75% and 36.8% in male and female patients, respectively. They concluded that, in contrast to male OAB, DO might not be a major underlying cause of uncomplicated female OAB. Therefore, the prevalence of DO in OAB females may depend on the population studied, the definition of this condition and the methods used.
Each symptom of frequency, nocturia, urgency and incontinence was associated with lower micturition and sensation volumes on filling cystometry. This association was not significant except for each of urgency and incontinence in men and incontinence alone in women. Of the four symptoms that are currently considered to be part of the OAB syndrome, the incontinence symptom is the best associated with objective parameters from the bladder diary, filling cystometry, and with the occurrence of DO in both sexes. Although urgency is associated with a significant effect on all urodynamic parameters examined in men, there is no significant effect on the occurrence of DO (, ). We agree with the others that there is a need for a validated urgency scale that measures urgency rather than bladder sensation [8
]. In univariate analysis, when symptoms studied separately, the frequency and urgency were not significantly involved in risk of DO in both sexes while interactions showed that both slightly increase the risk of other factors. The interaction of these was significant in men but not in women (). This is supportive to our belief that OAB symptoms may have different pathophysiology in both sexes. We believe clinicians could better predict DO when some clinical factors were combined together and not by depending on a single symptom. This is obvious from the binary interactions of OAB symptoms such as urgency and incontinence. Incontinence is usually associated with urgency, so this can explain the increase in OR of incontinence from 4.2 to 6.8 by the addition of the urgency in men. Furthermore, the results show nearly a doubling in OR when any of the other symptoms is added to these two symptoms.
In women univariate risks of nocturia and incontinence were significant and further interactions showed more significant risks, namely the interactions of nocturia with either frequency or incontinence. Although incontinence had the highest OR in univariate analysis, the interactions showed that frequency and nocturia were the major risk factors in women in contrast to men. The frequency is univariately weakly predictive of DO but not significant in a multivariate model with urgency, incontinence and nocturia. This is similar to the findings of other authors demonstrated by a self reported mail questionnaire in women [10
]. Also, Hashim and Abrams [8
] showed in their study that increasing voiding frequency did not have any effect on increasing the accuracy of diagnosis of DO except in women with 10 or more daytime micturition episodes. However, we cannot ignore the role of frequency in predicting DO especially when combined with other symptoms. Van Brummen et al. [11
] investigated the association between overactive bladder symptoms in women and objective parameters from the bladder diary and conventional filling cystometry. The frequency symptom as well as the UUI symptom was significantly associated with the presence of DO. They considered the frequency symptom as being obligatory for considering one to have an OAB. The weakness in their study and our study is that analysis was not done to assess whether increasing frequency made a difference to the diagnostic value and association between OAB and DO, using different cutoff points for frequency.
Urgency in men was associated with DO in multivariate analysis, but not in univariate analysis. Some authors stated the frequency symptom, not the urgency symptom, is best associated with them in females who underwent UDS [11
]. Conversely, frequency alone was reported to be a poor predictor of DO (31.4%) in female OAB patients, and having urgency, frequency and UUI had the highest sensitivity in predicting DO (61.0%) in females. In our study, 62% of women with frequency alone have DO, while 87% with combined urgency, frequency and UUI have DO. This confirms the need for a validated urgency scale that measures urgency more accurately.
This study adds to the body of evidence that questions the validity of using invasive urodynamic procedures before initiating treatment for the debilitating symptoms of an OAB. Indeed, the results of a randomized, double-blind clinical trial in which patients were enrolled and treated on the basis of symptoms alone support this management strategy [12
]. This approach would encourage more physicians to explore these problems with their patients, reserving referral for costly urodynamics for those patients who fail to respond to first-line therapy. This management strategy may be suitable for our people with limited income to pay for the tests. For this reason, UDS should be done only if it is going to change patient treatment or help differentiate the etiology of voiding dysfunction, or if it is done after failed conservative/medical treatment [13
]. If standard UDS fails to reproduce symptoms, referral for ambulatory UDS may be considered when available. The absence of DO during an artificial bladder test even with provocative maneuvers is not an absolute confirmation of lack of DO in "real life" situations.
The present study had several limitations. First, the study was retrospective. Second, our study population was a selected group of patients with complaints that were candidate for urodynamic investigation. Therefore, they represent patients with bothersome symptoms. To what extent our results can be generalized to the population remains unanswered. Third, the study compares subjective symptoms with objective parameters. The bladder is a bad witness, and the symptoms of frequency, nocturia, and urgency may arise because of hypersensitivity of the bladder stretch but also may occur when the bladder contracts inappropriately due to DO. Fourth, the follow-up data were lacking in some patients because some in the present study were referred to our urology unit purely for management for a short duration. Therefore, there was not adequate information regarding whether or not urodynamic findings altered management for these patients. Continuing arguments against 'no need for UDS in OAB patients' might prove fruitless. Rather, we need knowledge and/or evidence-based guidelines that define the OAB patients in whom UDS could confer a benefit.
In conclusion, the definition of OAB based on urgency is a better predictor in men than in women. When symptoms were used together, only urgency and UUI in men and nocturia and UUI in women significantly increased the prediction of DO. It is important to inquire about the reproduction of symptoms during UDS and correlate this with findings during the test. There is a need for a validated urgency scale that measures urgency rather than bladder sensation. The pathophysiology of female OAB might be different from that of male OAB. Therefore, treatment outcomes must be evaluated for males and females, separately. Further prospective studies are needed to provide more information about the precise role of urodynamics for men and women with OAB symptoms.