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Pelvic organ dysfunction is more prevalent and severe in MSA-P compared to parkinson's disease


  • Conflicts of interest: none

  • Linda Brubaker led the review process.



It is usually difficult to distinguish between idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) and parkinsonian-type multiple system atrophy (MSA-P) in the early stage. However, it is important to make a careful early-stage diagnosis. Therefore, we determined whether an examination of pelvic organ dysfunction would be helpful to distinguish between PD and MSA-P.


We recruited 61 patients with PD and 54 patients with MSA-P who were examined at our neurology clinic. The mean ages of the patients with PD and MSA-P were 67 and 64 years, respectively. The mean disease duration of both groups was 3.2 years. We administered a questionnaire on pelvic organ dysfunction to the PD and MSA-P groups. The questionnaire had sections focusing on bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Dysfunction, as described in the responses, was evaluated as normal, mild (>once a month), moderate (>once a week), or severe (>once a day). The Mann–Whitney U-test was used for statistical analysis.


Compared with the PD group, the prevalence and severity of pelvic dysfunction in the MSA-P group was significantly higher for urinary urgency (MSA-P 76%, PD 58%, P < 0.05), retardation in initiating urination (79%, 48%, P < 0.05), prolongation in urination (79%, 72%, P < 0.05), and constipation (58%, 31%, P < 0.05). The quality-of-life index among pelvic organ dysfunctions indicated that urinary and bowel function was significantly more impaired in the MSA-P group than in the PD group.


Urinary urgency, retardation in initiating urination, prolongation in urination, and constipation are more prevalent and severe in MSA-P compared to PD. Neurourol. Urodyn. 30:102–107, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.