Uroflowmetry. But what do we actually measure?

Our first products, Minze Homeflow and Hospiflow are both solutions to perform uroflow tests on a normal toilet. But what is uroflowmetry and what do we actually measure?

Uroflowmetry measures the flow of urine during voiding. It’s a test to assess how well the urinary tract functions and can be used for diagnosis, follow-up after surgery or during treatment.

The outcome of a uroflow test is usually shown in a graph that shows the flow rate in relation to the elapsed voiding time, along with other parameters such as the voided volume, voiding time and time to maximum flow rate.

 

A uroflow test is recommended for people experiencing bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms, such as a weak urine stream, frequent voiding during the day, waking up at night multiple times to void and involuntary loss of urine. Results from the test can help the doctor determine how the lower urinary tract functions. The lower urinary tract consists out of the bladder, urethra, sphincter, and in case of men the prostate.

The shape of the uroflow curve contains a lot of information about the lower urinary tract mechanism. A healthy system usually produces a bell shape flow curve. Deviant shapes such as a ‘plateau’ or ‘staccato’ shapes can indicate a dysfunction of the lower urinary tract, such as a urinary blockage due to an enlarged prostate or scar tissue, a weakened bladder muscle or neurological bladder dysfunctions.

Patients are usually asked to show up in the hospital with a full bladder when they have to do a uroflow test. In order to perform a representative uroflow test, it’s best to urinate as you normally would do at home. Psychological discomfort has to be minimized and the natural voiding position has to be respected, in order to obtain a proper representation of the habitual pattern. A comfortable environment such as a normal toilet could help to obtain the most representative results. That’s exactly what Minze Hospiflow has been designed for!

Since a uroflow test is a snapshot that is usually performed in a artificial environment, it’s hard for the clinician to judge whether the result is representative. Therefore it is advisable to repeat this test multiple times in order to get a clear view on the voiding behaviour of the patient. When repeating this test, annotating the flows with the urge could give the doctor additional information about underlying conditions or dysfunctions. Ideally, these uroflow tests should be taken at different times of the day. Minze Homeflow allows you to collect multiple flows at the patient’s home. The Minze portal gives the doctor an overview of all the voids in order to compare them to each other.

After testing the flow of urine, your doctor will take your individual situation and symptoms into account before they develop a treatment plan. You may need additional urinary system testing, such as keeping a voiding diary, measuring the post-void residual volume or even urodynamic investigation.

Learn more about how Homeflow and Hospiflow are the most flexible and versatile uroflowmeters to date!

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