Should we be revisiting LUT basic science and clinical measurement of LUT sensation to improve patient care? ICI‐RS 2019

Karen D. McCloskey*, Jean Jacques Wyndaele, John E. Speich, Lori Birder, Pierre P. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review



This article reviews current knowledge of the underpinning mechanisms of how the bladder senses fullness locally and also revisits clinical measurements of lower urinary tract sensation. The former represents cellular sensing during bladder filling whereas the latter describes the sensations leading to conscious perception of bladder fullness. 


The topic was discussed in a “think tank” session at the 2019 International Consultation on Incontinence—Research Symposium in Bristol, UK; summarized in the present review. 


Recent advances in the basic science of bladder sensing relating to (a) the bladder wall—urothelial cells, sensory nerves, interstitial cells, and smooth muscle cells and (b) putative chemo/mechanosensors in the urethra—paraneurons or “brush cells” are discussed. Validated clinical measurement of lower urinary tract sensation is reviewed in the context of how this could be better harnessed for patient benefit. We discuss the potential of app/tablet/mobile technology based on triggers and distractors to override aberrant local sensing/higher sensation and how these technologies could be utilized in treatment. 


We conclude that a better understanding of bladder sensation is essential to inform clinical management of lower urinary tract symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S23-S29
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue numberS3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms/diagnosis
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Sensation/physiology
  • Urethra/physiopathology
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive/diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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