Urgency in children with overactive bladder or voiding postponement: What’s the difference?

Samuel Gomes Cardoso 1Beatriz Paixão Argollo 2Ana Aparecida Nascimento Martinelli Braga 3Ubirajara Barroso Jr 4


Introduction: Overactive bladder (OAB) and voiding postponement (VP) can share the same symptom of urgency, but with different pathophysiology, including the cerebral interpretation of bladder filling. The objective of the present study was to compare the clinical, psychological and sociodemographic features of children with urgency for OAB with those who presented urgency for VP (UrVP).

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study with an analytical component was conducted with patients of 5-14 years of age with urinary urgency between January, 2014, and January, 2019. Urinary symptoms were evaluated using the Dysfunctional Voiding Scoring System (DVSS) questionnaire, constipation using the Rome IV criteria and psychological symptoms using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). All the patients had bell-shaped or tower-shaped curves at uroflowmetry and no significant post-void residual volume at ultrasonography. Patients were classified as having OAB or UrVP depending on whether they voided >3 or ≤3 times/day, respectively.

Results: Median age of the 101 children/adolescents included was 9 years, with no significant difference between the groups. The prevalence of OAB was 60.4%. Girls constituted 57.4% of the sample but 67.5% of the postponement group, although no independent association was found between sex and diagnosis. The prevalence of constipation was 75.2%, with no difference between the groups. The children with OAB had higher behavioral hyperactivity scores and more intense externalizing symptoms, although there was no significant difference between the groups for the SDQ total difficulties score. In the multivariate analysis, the independent clinical factors associated with a diagnosis of OAB were behavioral hyperactivity (OR = 5.134), urge incontinence (OR = 4.694) and MVV/EBC (%) (OR = 0.983).

Conclusion: More behavioral problems, particularly hyperactivity, were found in children with OAB compared to those with UrVP. No statistically significant difference was found between the groups evaluated insofar as their sociodemographic characteristics are concerned. Furthermore, as expected, there was a strong association between the symptom of urge incontinence and lower MVV/EBC in the children and adolescents with OAB compared to those with voiding postponement.

Keywords: Adolescent behavior; Child behavior; Lower urinary tract symptoms; Overactive bladder.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of interest None declared.