The overactive bladder in childhood: Long-term results with conservative management

Michael J. Curran, Martin Kaefer, Craig A Peters, Eric Logician, Stuart B. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Purpose: Idiopathic detrusor overactivity has not been thoroughly investigated and its natural history remains largely anecdotal. Bladder overactivity resulting from a neurogenic, anatomical or medical condition has been well described. Therefore, we assessed the long-term results of conservative treatment of children with idiopathic symptomatic refractory detrusor instability. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the records of 58 patients who had an isolated finding of uninhibited contractions on urodynamics performed for refractory enuresis and daytime wetting between 1988 and 1994. Study exclusion criteria were chronic urinary tract infection, neurological lesion, anatomical abnormality of the lower urinary tract and less than 12 months of followup. Results: Of the 30 children who met our study inclusion criteria 26 (87%) had complete (21) or significant (5) symptom resolution. Average time to resolution was 2.7 years (range 0.2 to 6.6). Patients with a 50% to 90% bladder capacity expected for age were more likely to benefit from therapy than those with a bladder capacity outside of this range. Age and gender were not significant predictors of resolution although girls were more likely to have resolution than boys. Conclusions: Idiopathic detrusor instability is amenable to conservative management in the majority of patients during a prolonged period. We advocate thorough urological and urodynamic evaluation to identify idiopathic detrusor instability as an etiology of enuresis and daytime wetting in complicated cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-577
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Bladder
  • Cholinergic antagonists
  • Enuresis
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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