Urologic Latency Time (ULT) during Uroflow Stop Test with Electromyography: a post-RARP continence detector

Boni A1, Turco M1, Cochetti G1, Del Zingaro M1, Paladini A1, Sarti E1, Panciarola M1, Nogara A1, Mearini E1

Research Type


Abstract Category

Male Stress Urinary Incontinence (Post Prostatectomy Incontinence)

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Abstract 282
Male Stress Urinary Incontinence
Scientific Podium Short Oral Session 17
Thursday 5th September 2019
10:00 - 10:07
Hall G1
Male Surgery Stress Urinary Incontinence Prospective Study Urodynamics Techniques
1.Urologic Clinic, Dept. of Surgical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Perugia

Alessio Paladini



Hypothesis / aims of study
Prostatic surgery represents the principal cause of Stress Urinary Incontinence in males, seriously impairing patients’ Quality of Life (QoL). Robot Assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP) has lessened the incidence of this bothersome symptom, but its close identification lacks a reliable test. We recently proposed Uroflow Stop Test (UST) with surface Electromyography (EMG) to evaluate the time required to completely stop urine flow since the Pelvic Floor Muscles (PFMs) contraction occurred (1). Here, we have introduced two new parameters, the Neurological Latency Time (NLT) and the Urologic Latency Time (ULT), split by the beginning of EMG contraction recording. In this way the time necessary to contract PFMs after the stop command could be univocally interpreted, allowing to standardize the condition.  The aim of this study was to investigate if a ULT <3 seconds at one month could be associated with early recovery of urinary continence after a full nerve-sparing RARP.
Study design, materials and methods
We conduct a prospective study in patients with localized Prostate Cancer who underwent RARP according to previously described PERUSIA technique (Posterior, Extraperitoneal, Robotic, Under Santorini, Anterograde) (2). One skilled surgeon performed all surgical procedures in a High Volume tertiary Institute from January 2017 to January 2018. We administered International Prostatic Symptoms Score (IPSS) and QoL questionnaires pre- and postoperatively. After careful instruction to test execution, all patients had UST–EMG pre- and postoperatively (at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months). Pad-test and direct interviews (EPIC question 5) were used at 3, 6 and 12 months to assess continence status. All patients performed PFMs rehabilitation within the first three months. At UST-EMG we studied: the NLT, from the stop command to the PFMs contraction onset and the ULT from the latter to the complete urine flow interruption. We performed statistical analysis with SPSS® software, setting as significant a p-value of 0.05.
Sixty patients were enrolled. At 1 month we identified two groups: Group 1 with ULT ≤3 seconds (17 patients) and Group 2 with ULT >3 seconds (43 patients). Preoperative characteristics, NLT, ULT, IPSS and QoL scores were comparable between the two groups. The table shows our results. At 12 months significant intragroup differences were noted in IPSS score (p <0.0001) and QoL score (p <0.04) before and after surgery both in the Group 1 and in the Group 2. Mean NLT did not differ between the two groups either pre-RARP and at 12 months. NLT underwent a significant reduction between pre- and postsurgery (at 12 months) in both groups (p <0.02 in Group 1 and p <0.01 in Group 2). Surgical damages seems to determine a significant augmentation of ULT from pre-operative data to 12 months data in both groups (p =0.00003 in Group 1 and p =0.00001 in Group 2). An intergroup statistical significance is also present at 12 months after RARP (p <0.05). Regarding continent patients, a difference was present at 6 months after surgery (p <0.05), but it was not more present at 12 months (p =0.518). In the Group 2 we demonstrated a significant difference between 3 and 12 months (p =0.028) in terms of continence rate.
Interpretation of results
If we think urinary continence to be the result of co-partnership of several pelvic muscles, the anatomic integrity of vascular and nervous supply helps their contractile activity. Our PERUSIA technique, characterized by a medial, intrafascial, anterograde, Santorini-sparing approach, reduces the injury of pudendal nerve branches to the rhabdosphincter that is close to the prostate apex and endopelvic fascia. An ealy identification of Urinary Incontinence after RARP is mandatory to establish the best rehabilitation program. The ULT decreased after the first month from surgery mainly because of nervous recovery from neuropraxia, while NLT may decrease because of patients’ storing information during PFMs application. A ULT<3 seconds at 1 month seems to be associated with earlier urinary continence achievement, with a better mid and long-term outcome too. Moreover the ULT calculation can give us an estimate of the efficiency of the muscular continence apparatus during PFMs. The small sample represents the main limitation of our study and it may have limited our statistical power.
Concluding message
We can regard the ULT as a useful index in indicating earlier urinary continence recovery following pelvic surgery. Furthermore, it seems to be associated with better urinary outcome at mid and long-term after RARP. In this sense, UST-EMG seems to be more reliable than Pad-test in postoperative decision-making course.
Figure 1
  1. Boni A, Cochetti G, Del Zingaro M, et al. Uroflow stop test with electromyography: a novel index of urinary continence recovery after RARP. Int Urol Nephrol. 2019 Feb 23. doi: 10.1007/s11255-019-02107-3
  2. Cochetti G, Boni A, Barillaro F, et al. Full Neurovascular Sparing Extraperitoneal Robotic Radical Prostatectomy: Our Experience with PERUSIA Technique. J Endourol 2017 Jan;31(1):32-37. doi: 10.1089/end.2016.0477
<span class="text-strong">Funding</span> None <span class="text-strong">Clinical Trial</span> No <span class="text-strong">Subjects</span> Human <span class="text-strong">Ethics Committee</span> CEAS Umbria <span class="text-strong">Helsinki</span> Yes <span class="text-strong">Informed Consent</span> Yes