Pathophysiological and Therapeutic Considerations for Non-Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction in Children

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Non-neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) in children is very common in clinical practice and is important as an underlying cause of lower urinary tract symptoms, urinary tract infection and vesicoureteral reflux in affected children. LUTD in children is caused by multiple factors and might be related with a delay in functional maturation of the lower urinary tract. Behavioral and psychological problems often co-exist in children with LUTD and bowel dysfunction. Recent findings in functional brain imaging suggest that bladder bowel dysfunction and behavioral and psychiatric disorders in children might share common pathophysiological factors in the brain. Children with suspected LUTD should be evaluated properly by detailed history taking, validated questionnaire on voiding and defecation, voiding and bowel diary, urinalysis, screening ultrasound, uroflowmetry and post-void residual measurement. Invasive urodynamic study such as videourodynamics should be reserved for children in whom standard treatment fails. Initial treatment of non-neurogenic LUTD is standard urotherapy comprising education of the child and family, regular optimal voiding regimens and bowel programs. Pelvic floor muscle awareness, biofeedback and neuromodulation can be used as a supplementary purpose. Antimuscarinics and α-blockers are safely used for overactive bladder and dysfunctional voiding, respectively. For refractory cases, botulinum toxin A injection is a viable treatment option. Prudent use of urotherapy and pharmacotherapy for non-neurogenic LUTD should have a better chance to cure various problems and improve self-esteem and quality of life in affected children.

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