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Overactive Bladder (cont.)

Overactive Bladder Diagnosis

The diagnosis of overactive bladder can be suspected based on the history and presenting complaints of an individual. A thorough medical history and physical examination by the doctor and review of the medications and symptoms often provide major clues in moving toward making a diagnosis of overactive bladder. A pelvic exam in women and prostate exam in men are important in the assessment of an individual with overactive bladder.

Basic blood work and urinalysis can complement history and physical examination. Usually blood chemistry and kidney function tests are ordered to evaluate for possible metabolic problems, such as diabetes. Urinalysis with urine culture is also helpful to assess for any existing urine infection or other urinary and kidney disorders. Sometimes urine cytology studies can be performed to see if any cancer cells may be present in the urine suggesting bladder cancer.

Another useful test in evaluating for OAB is a post-void residual (PVR). This entails measuring the amount of urine in the bladder after urination using an ultrasound or by placing a catheter in the bladder through the urethra.

Urologists may further investigate urinary symptoms by performing urodynamic measurements. These tests can provide estimated detrusor muscle activity by measuring the pressure in the urinary bladder.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2014

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