Purpose To address gaps in understanding and treating lower urinary tract symptoms, the NIDDK created the Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network (LURN). The goals of LURN are to work collaboratively to 1) identify and explain the important subtypes of lower urinary tract symptoms; 2) improve the measurement of patient experiences of lower urinary tract symptoms; 3) disseminate novel findings to researchers, clinicians and patients; and 4) generate data, research tools and biological samples for future studies. Materials and Methods As a first step in understanding subtypes of lower urinary tract symptoms, LURN will focus on disorders of urinary sensation (eg urgency) and their causes. These are being examined with respect to patient experience, organism or systemic factors, genitourinary organs and tissues, and cellular/molecular factors. This is being achieved via an observational cohort study that is currently enrolling patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (target number 1,000) and that will extensively characterize patients with lower urinary tract symptoms. Future studies embedded within the observational cohort study will focus on neuroimaging and sensory testing, biomarkers and organ based factors. To advance the science of measurement of lower urinary tract symptoms, LURN is also developing and evaluating a comprehensive set of self-report questions to provide more granular assessments of lower urinary tract symptoms. Results LURN has taken its first steps by developing a framework for studying lower urinary tract symptom subtypes. Conclusions In developing this framework, LURN is choosing an initial domain on which to focus (sensory experiences), and creating and executing protocols designed to improve measurement of self-reported symptoms and identify patient subtypes.
- government agencies
- lower urinary tract symptoms