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Condition/Disorder Synonyms

  • Urinary incontinence

    • Enuresis

    • Urge urinary incontinence

    • Overactive bladder

    • Giggle incontinence

    • Nocturnal enuresis

  • Dysfunctional voiding, dysfunctional elimination syndrome

ICD-9-CM Codes

  • 596.5 Other functional disorder of the bladder

  • 788.3 Urinary incontinence

  • 788.31 Urge incontinence

  • 788.34 Incontinence without sensory awareness

  • 788.36 Nocturnal enuresis

  • 788.39 Other urinary incontinence

ICD-10-CM Codes

  • N33 Bladder disorders in diseases classified elsewhere

  • N39.41 Urge incontinence

  • N39.42 Incontinence without sensory awareness

  • N39.44 Nocturnal enuresis

  • N39.498 Other specified urinary incontinence

  • R32 Unspecified urinary incontinence

Preferred Practice Patterns1

  • Pattern 4C: impaired muscle performance 1

  • Pattern 5C: Impaired motor function and sensory integrity associated with nonprogressive disorders of the central nervous system - congenital origin or acquired in infancy or childhood

Key Features


  • Involuntary loss of urine control during the daytime in a child older than 5 years old (or mental age of 5) and/or during the nighttime in a child older than 6 years old2

  • Involuntary loss of urine control accompanied by or immediately preceded by urgency

  • Complete voiding during or immediately after laughing3

  • Inability to relax the external sphincter during voiding in children with no evidence of neurologic abnormality4

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Voiding record observed and recorded by an adult

  • Urodynamic testing

    • Detrusor (smooth muscle of the bladder) overactivity: high detrusor pressure during leakage episode during urodynamic testing is indicative of detrusor overactivity

    • Detrusor sphincter dyssynergia (DSD): simultaneous contraction of the external urinary sphincter and detrusor during an attempt to void

General Considerations

  • The fully toilet trained child has the ability to stop and start flow of urine, initiate voiding by relaxing external urethral sphincter, and cortically inhibit a bladder contraction 5

  • Rule out lower urinary tract infections

    • Sudden onset of symptoms

    • Urinary frequency

    • Urinary urgency

    • Lower back pain

  • Rule out myogenic dysfunction of the detrusor


  • 21.8% of school aged children had lower urinary tract dysfunction

  • Symptoms were most frequent in girls (p < 0.001), children aged 6 to 8 years old (p < 0.028), and attended the school with the lowest social level (p < 0.001).

  • 30.7% had diurnal urinary incontinence

    • 19.1% had holding maneuvers; strategies to postpone voiding

    • 13.7% had urinary urgency6

  • Eneuresis: at age 5, 15% to 25% of children wet the bed

    • With each year of maturity, the percentage of bed-wetters declines by 15%: 8% of 12-year-old boys and 4% of 12-year-old girls are enuretic; only 1% to 3% of adolescents are still wetting their bed 7

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms 8

  • Loss of urine without meaning to urinate

  • Bed wetting

  • Urgency: sudden unexpected need to urinate, after age 5

  • Nocturia: nighttime voids after age 5, normal = 0

  • Hesitancy: slow initiation of void after age 5

  • Straining: abdominal pressure during void

  • Weak stream: decreased force of flow

  • Intermittency: bursts ...

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