- •Lower urinary tract symptoms and neurogenic bladder are frequent in ALS patients.
- •Clinical characteristics of patients with and without lower urinary tract symptoms are similar.
- •Early urinary symptoms and neurogenic bladder appears to be a sign of poor prognosis.
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are frequent in motor neuron disease (MND) patients, but clinical factors related to them are unknown. We describe differences in LUTS among MND phenotypes and their relationship with other clinical characteristics, including prognosis.
For this study, we collected clinical data of a previously published cohort of patients diagnosed with classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (cALS), progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) or primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) with and without LUTS. Familial history was recorded and the C9ORF72 expansion was analysed in the entire cohort. Patients were followed-up for survival until August 2016.
Fifty-five ALS patients (37 cALS, 10 PMA and 8 PLS) were recruited. Twenty-four reported LUTS and neurogenic bladder (NB) could be demonstrated in nine of them. LUTS were not influenced by age, phenotype, disability, cognitive or behavioural impairment, or disease progression, but female sex appeared to be a protective factor (OR = 0.39, p = 0.06). Neither family history nor the C9ORF72 expansion was linked to LUTS or NB. In the multivariate analysis, patients reporting LUTS early in the disease course tended to show poorer survival.
In this study, LUTS appear to be more frequent in male MND patients, but are not related to age, clinical or genetic characteristics. When reported early, LUTS could be a sign of rapid disease spread and poor prognosis. Further prospective longitudinal and neuroimaging studies are warranted to confirm this hypothesis.
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Published online: May 02, 2017
Accepted: April 30, 2017
Received in revised form: April 28, 2017
Received: December 10, 2016
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