Noninvasive urodynamic evaluation
D'Ancona CA, Bassani J, Almeida JC. Int Neurourol J. 2012 Sep;16(3):116-21. doi: 10.5213/inj.2012.16.3.116. Epub 2012 Sep 30.


Division of Urology and Bioengineering, University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


The longevity of the world's population is increasing, and among male patients, complaints of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are growing. Testing to diagnose LUTS and to differentiate between the various causes should be quick, easy, cheap, specific, not too bothersome for the patient, and noninvasive or minimally so. Urodynamic evaluation is the gold standard for diagnosing bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) but presents some inconveniences such as embarrassment, pain, and dysuria; furthermore, 19% of cases experience urinary retention, macroscopic hematuria, or urinary tract infection. A greater number of resources in the diagnostic armamentarium could increase the opportunity for selecting less invasive tests. A number of groups have risen to this challenge and have formulated and developed ideas and technologies to improve noninvasive methods to diagnosis BOO. These techniques start with flowmetry, an increase in the interest of ultrasound, and finally the performance of urodynamic evaluation without a urethral catheter. Flowmetry is not sufficient for confirming a diagnosis of BOO. Ultrasound of the prostate and the bladder can help to assess BOO noninvasively in all men and can be useful for evaluating the value of BOO at assessment and during treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia patients in the future. The great advantages of noninvasive urodynamics are as follows: minimal discomfort, minimal risk of urinary tract infection, and low cost. This method can be repeated many times, permitting the evaluation of obstruction during clinical treatment. A urethral connector should be used to diagnose BOO, in evaluation for surgery, and in screening for treatment. In the future, noninvasive urodynamics can be used to identify patients with BOO to initiate early medical treatment and evaluate the results. This approach permits the possibility of performing surgery before detrusor damage occurs.