Useful Terms for Urodynamics

terms that will be helpful to any healthcare professional working with urodynamics and incontinence care

Urodynamics Terms

Abdominal leak point pressure (ALPP) - Abdominal leak point pressure (ALPP), including Valsalva leak point pressure (VLPP) and cough leak point pressure (CLPP), is a measurement of urethral function or outlet competence and is the intravesical pressure at which urine leakage occurs due to increased abdominal pressure in the absence of a detrusor contraction.

Urodynamics Terms

Ambulatory Urodynamics - Ambulatory urodynamic monitoring (AUM) is the monitoring of leakage, flow recordings and pressure in the bladder and abdomen (rectum or vagina) with or without pressure in the urethra in an ambulatory(mobile) setting where the patient carries a data recording device along with them as they carry out their daily activities. It permits monitoring in situations where the patient usually leaks, unattended by medical staff and laboratory equipment. Detection of leakage during the recording is necessary and helps to separate clinically relevant events from artifacts.

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American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) - The national non-profit organization specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. It promotes patient care, education, research, and advocacy.

American Urological Association (AUA) - AUA is the national urologic association that provides support to the urologic community. It also sets standards for urologic clinical care, including standards for urodynamics.

Cystometry - Cystometry is the method by which the pressure/volume relationship of the bladder is measured during bladder filling. Measurements obtained during cystometry include bladder sensations, compliance, bladder capacity and the presence or absence of detrusor overactivity (DO).

Detrusor Overactivity/Instability - Detrusor overactivity/instability is a urodynamic diagnosis made when the detrusor is shown objectively to contract, spontaneously or on provocation, during the filling phase of a cystometrogram while the patient is attempting to halt urine flow.

Electromyography (EMG) - Electromyography (EMG) is the study of the electronic potentials produced by the depolarization of muscle membranes. In most UDS tests, EMG measurement of the striated sphincteric muscles of the perineum is done to evaluate possible abnormalities of perineal muscle function that are often associated with lower urinary tract symptoms and dysfunction.

Leak Point Pressure Measurement - The bladder pressure at which involuntary loss of urine occurs is the leak point pressure. The rise in bladder pressure causing leakage may originate either from the detrusor or from an increase in abdominal pressure.

LUTS - LUTS is an acronym for Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

Maximum urethral closure pressure (MUCP) - Maximum urethral closure pressure (MUCP) is the maximum difference between the urethral pressure and the intravesical pressure.

Mixed Incontinence - Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence, marked by involuntary leakage associated with urgency and also with exertion, effort, sneezing, or coughing.

Neurogenic Bladder - Neurogenic Bladder (NGB) refers to the disturbance of normal bladder function as a result of the neurologic disease. Many neurologic conditions can be associated with NGB; however, the more commonly known conditions of which urologists and lower urinary tract specialists should be particularly aware include: spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke/cerebrovascular accident, traumatic brain injury, myelomeningocele (MMC), brain or spinal cord tumor, transverse myelitis, back or spine disease (including herniated disk, cauda equina syndrome), diabetes, peripheral nerve injury and other lower motor neuron diseases.

Overactive Bladder (OAB) - Overactive bladder is a problem with the bladder-storage function that causes a sudden urge to urinate. The urge may be difficult to stop, and overactive bladder may lead to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence).

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) - POP is a condition occurring exclusively in females and is defined as the descent of one or more of the anterior vaginal wall, posterior vaginal wall, the uterus (cervix) or the apex of the vagina (vaginal vault or cuff scar after hysterectomy)

Post-void Residual - Post-void residual (PVR) is the volume of urine left in the bladder at the completion of micturition. This can be measured by ultrasound or catheterization.

Pressure flow studies (PFS) - Pressure flow studies (PFS) measure the relationship between the pressure in the bladder and urine flow rate during bladder emptying.

Stress Incontinence - Stress Incontinence is the leakage or urine associated with increased abdominal pressure from laughing, sneezing, coughing, climbing stairs, or other physical stressors on the abdominal cavity and, thus, the bladder.

Urethral Pressure Measurement - The resting urethral pressure is used for the assessment of stress incontinence and it is routine in many urodynamic testing scenarios. In order to maintain continence, the urethral lumen should seal completely. The urethral closure pressure represents the difference between the urethral pressure and the simultaneously recorded intravesical pressure, which equates to the ability of the urethra to prevent urine leakage.

Urethral Pressure Profile (UPP) - Urethral pressure profile is the measurement of intraluminal pressure along the length of the urethra.

Urge Incontinence - Urge Incontinence is the involuntary leakage accompanied by or immediately preceded by urgency. Individuals with urge incontinence regularly feel the need to go to the bathroom to urinate even though they may have just urinated.

Urinary Incontinence - According to the American Journal of Medicine, urinary incontinence is an under-diagnosed and under-reported problem that increases with age—affecting 50-84% of the elderly in long-term care facilities —and at any age is more than 2 times more common in females than in males. Urinary incontinence occurs when a man or woman undesirably leaks urine.

Urodynamics - Urodynamics is the dynamic study of the transport, storage and evacuation of urine. Urodynamics is an interactive diagnostic study of the lower urinary tract composed of a number of tests that can be used to obtain functional information about urine storage and emptying.

Uroflowmetry - Uroflowmetry is the measurement of the rate of urine flow over time.

Videourodynamic studies (VUDS) - Videourodynamic studies (VUDS) include the addition of simultaneous imaging (usually fluoroscopy) during cystometry and/or PFS.

Voiding Diary - A voiding diary is an overview that lists the amount of fluid you drink and the amount of urine you produce during a 24-hour or 48-hour period. It is used to aid in the proper diagnosis and causes of incontinence.