Urodynamics, the supine empty bladder stress test, and incontinence severity§


  • Clinical Trials Registration Number = NCT 00325039.

  • Chris Winters led the review process.

  • §

    Conflicts of interest: none.

  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. UITN Investigators—Steering Committee: Elizabeth A. Gormley, Chair (Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH); Larry Sirls, MD, Salil Khandwala, MD (William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI and Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn, MI; U01 DK58231); Linda Brubaker, MD, Kimberly Kenton, MD (Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL; U01 DK60379); Holly E. Richter, PhD, MD, L. Keith Lloyd, MD (University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL; U01 DK60380); Michael Albo, MD, Charles Nager, MD (University of California, San Diego, CA; U01 DK60401); Toby C. Chai, MD, Harry W. Johnson, MD (University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; U01 DK60397); Halina M. Zyczynski, MD, Wendy Leng, MD (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; U01 DK 58225); Philippe Zimmern, MD, Gary Lemack, MD (University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX; U01 DK60395); Stephen Kraus, MD, Thomas Rozanski, MD (University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX; U01 DK58234); Peggy Norton, MD, Ingrid Nygaard, MD (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; U01 DK60393); Sharon Tennstedt, PhD, Anne Stoddard, ScD (New England Research Institutes, Watertown, MA; U01 DK58229); Debuene Chang, MD, Marva Moxey-Mims, MD, Rebekah Rasooly, MD (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). Co-Investigators: Amy Arisco, MD; Jan Baker, APRN; Diane Borello-France, PT, PhD; Kathryn L. Burgio, PhD; Ananias Diokno, MD; Melissa Fischer, MD; MaryPat Fitzgerald, MD; Chiara Ghetti, MD; Patricia S. Goode, MD; Robert L. Holley, MD; Margie Kahn, MD; Jerry Lowder, MD; Karl Luber, MD; Emily Luckacz, MD; Alayne Markland, DO, MSc; Shawn Menefee, MD; Pamela Moalli, MD; Elizabeth Mueller, MD; Pradeep Nagaraju, MD; Kenneth Peters, MD; Elizabeth Sagan, MD; Joseph Schaffer, MD; Amanda Simsiman, MD; Robert Starr, MD; Gary Sutkin, MD; R. Edward Varner, MD. Study Coordinators: Laura Burr, RN; JoAnn Columbo, BS, CCRC; Tamara Dickinson, RN, CURN, CCCN, BCIA-PMDB; Rosanna Dinh, RN, CCRC; Judy Gruss, RN; Alice Howell, RN, BSN, CCRC; Chaandini Jayachandran, MSc; Kathy Jesse, RN; D. Lynn Kalinoski, PhD; Barbara Leemon, RN; Kristen Mangus; Karen Mislanovich, RN; Elva Kelly Moore, RN; Caren Prather, RN; Sylvia Sluder, CCRP; Mary Tulke, RN; Robin Willingham, RN, BSN; Kimberly Woodson, RN, MPH; Gisselle Zazueta-Damian. Data Coordinating Center: Kimberly J. Dandreo, MSc; Liyuan Huang, MS; Rose Kowalski, MA; Heather Litman, PhD; Marina Mihova, MHA; Anne Stoddard, ScD (Co-PI); Kerry Tanwar, BA; Sharon Tennstedt, PhD (PI); Yan Xu, MS. Data Safety and Monitoring Board: J. Quentin Clemens MD (Chair), Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL; Paul Abrams MD, Bristol Urological Institute, Bristol, UK; Diedre Bland MD, Blue Ridge Medical Associates, Winston Salem, NC; Timothy B. Boone MD, The Methodist Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; John Connett PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Dee Fenner MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; William Henderson PhD, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO; Sheryl Kelsey PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Deborah J. Lightner MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Deborah Myers MD, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI; Bassem Wadie MBBCh, MSc, MD, Mansoura Urology and Nephrology Center, Mansoura, Egypt; J. Christian Winters, MD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA.



Determine whether urodynamic measures of urethral function [(valsalva leak point pressure (VLPP), maximum urethral closure pressure (MUCP), functional urethral length (FUL)] and the results of the supine empty bladder stress test (SEBST) correlate with each other and with subjective and objective measures of urinary incontinence (UI).


Data were collected preoperatively from subjects enrolled in a multicenter surgical trial of mid-urethral slings. Subjective measures included questionnaire scores from the Medical Epidemiological and Social Aspects of Aging Questionnaire, Urogenital Distress Inventory, and Incontinence Impact Questionnaire. Objective measures included a 24-hr pad weight test, incontinence episode frequency on a 3-day voiding diary, and a SEBST.


Five hundred ninety-seven women enrolled. Three hundred seventy-two women had valid VLPP values; 539 had valid MUCP/FUL values. Subjective measures of severity had weak to moderate correlation with each other (r = 0.25–0.43) and with objective measures of severity (r = −0.06 to 0.45). VLPP and MUCP had moderate correlation with each other (r = 0.36,  < 0.001). Urodynamic measures of urethral function had little or no correlation with subjective or objective measures of severity. Subjects with a positive SEBST had more subjective and objective severity measures compared to the negative SEBST group, but they did not have significantly different VLPP and MUCP values.


VLPP and MUCP have moderate correlation with each other, but each had little or no correlation with subjective or objective measures of severity or with the results of the SEBST. This data suggests that the urodynamic measures of urethral function are not related to subjective or objective measures of UI severity. Neurourol. Urodynam. 29:1306–1311, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.