Urodynamic Studies

Urodynamic studies include any tests that can be used to assess the efficacy of the bladder, sphincters, and/or urethra as they store and release urine. Some urodynamic studies only entail observation, such as timing how long it takes for a patient to begin urinating, measuring how much urine is produced, or determining whether urination can be halted once it has been initiated.

Some of the other tests that are classified as urodynamic studies are briefly described below:

  • Uroflowmetry – This test measures the speed and volume of urination. If the patient’s bladder muscles are weak of blockages are present, the results of the test will appear abnormal
  • Postvoid residual measurement – This test measures the quantity of urine that stays in the bladder after the patient urinates. The measurement is obtained via catheters or ultrasound equipment.
  • Cystometric test – The cystometric test determines how much liquid the bladder can hold, how much pressure is present in the bladder as urine is stored, and how full the bladder is when the patient experiences the sensation to urinate. The test is performed by inserting warm water into the bladder and using catheters to obtain measurements.
  • Pressure flow study – To determine whether blockages are present, a pressure flow study may performed. The study identifies the amount of bladder pressure necessary for urination to occur, as well as the flow rate generated by any given pressure.
  • Electromyography – This test measures the activity of the muscles and nerves that comprise the bladder and sphincters.
  • Video urodynamic tests – These tests generate images showing the size and shape of the bladder as it fills and empties. The images may be obtained via x-rays or ultrasounds.