Urodynamic tests are used to investigate people who have urinary incontinence or other urinary symptoms in order to make a definitive objective diagnosis. The aim is to help to select the treatment most likely to be successful. The investigations are invasive and time consuming.
The objective of this review was to discover if treatment according to a urodynamic-based diagnosis led to clinical improvements in urinary incontinence outcomes, compared to treatment based on history and examination.
We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Trials Register (searched 29 May 2006) and reference lists of relevant articles.
Randomised and quasi-randomised trials comparing clinical outcomes in groups of people who were and were not investigated using urodynamics, or comparing one type of urodynamics against another.
Data collection and analysis
Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.
Three small trials involving 184 people were included but data were only available for 128 participants. In one small trial, women who were investigated with urodynamics were more likely to receive active treatment with drugs or surgery. However, the numbers in the trials were too small to determine if this affected clinical outcomes such as a reduction in incontinence.
A larger definitive trial is needed, in which people are randomly allocated to management according to urodynamic findings or to standard management based on history and clinical examination.