The impact of pontine disease on lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis

Steven J. Weissbart*, Dasha Pechersky, Anna Malykhina, Thomas Bavaria, Lisa Parrillo, Lily A. Arya, Michel Bilello, Alan J. Wein, Ariana L. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Aims: To investigate the relationship between pontine lesion characteristics on MRI and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of patients with MS and LUTS who were undergoing brain/spine MRI. Patients were administered the American Urological Association Symptom Score (AUA-SS), Medical, Epidemiologic, and Social Aspects of Aging questionnaire (MESA), and Urogenital Distress Inventory questionnaire (UDI-6), underwent Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scoring by a neurologist, and had their MRIs reviewed by a neuroradiologist. The relationships between symptom scores and lesion number, size, and location were analyzed. Results: There were 42 patients that completed the study and 20 (48%) had one or more pontine lesions. Total AUA-SS and UDI-6 were related to multiple Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) scales and not EDSS scoring. Weak urinary stream measured on the AUA-SS (P = 0.028), and urgency incontinence measured on the MESA questionnaire (P = 0.034) were related to pontine lesion diameter. There was no difference in urinary symptoms according to the presence or absence of a pontine lesion, or according to lesion location within the pons. Conclusions: Pontine lesion size appears to be related to lower urinary tract symptoms (weak stream and urgency incontinence) in patients with MS. Therefore, CNS lesion characteristics may be able to phenotype voiding symptoms in patients with MS. Neurourol. Urodynam. 36:453–456, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-456
Number of pages4
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neurogenic bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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