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Keywords:

  • clinically isolated syndrome;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • urinary;
  • urodynamic

Background and purpose

Urinary symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) are common and negatively impact on quality of life, representing a considerable psychosocial and economic burden, often requiring care and hospitalization. Although the importance of identifying and adequately treating urinary symptoms in MS is now well recognized, there is no information, to date, about the real prevalence and impact of bladder symptoms in patients with clinically isolated syndromes (CISs) suggestive of MS.

Methods

The aim of the present study was to investigate, in a cohort of patients with a diagnosis of CIS suggestive of MS, the prevalence of urinary tract symptoms, their impact on quality of life measures and their association with functional urodynamic dysfunctions. Patients underwent a complete neurological and urological visit, urodynamic investigation and the MSQoL-54 questionnaire.

Results

Twenty-eight consecutive patients presenting with CISs were enrolled in the study; 53.6% of CIS patients reported urinary symptoms, 46.7% reporting irritative symptoms, 33.3% both irritative and obstructive symptoms and 20% obstructive symptoms alone. Urodynamic abnormalities were observed in 57.1% of the CIS patients. In 17.9% of the CIS patients urodynamic dysfunctions were asymptomatic. The presence of urinary symptoms was associated with lower scores on specific quality of life domains, particularly in women with obstructive symptoms.

Conclusions

A high prevalence of urinary symptoms and urodynamic dysfunctions in patients with CISs and an association of urinary symptoms with quality of life measures were found. These results highlight the importance of identifying and optimally treating urinary symptoms also at the very early stages of MS.