Clustering of patients with overactive bladder syndrome

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.


Background: Overactive bladder is a heterogenous condition with poorly characterized clinical phenotypes. To discover potential patient subtypes in patients with overactive bladder (OAB), we used consensus clustering of their urinary symptoms and other non-urologic factors. Methods: Clinical variables included in the k-means consensus clustering included OAB symptoms, urinary incontinence, anxiety, depression, psychological stress, somatic symptom burden, reported childhood traumatic exposure, and bladder pain. Results: 48 OAB patients seeking care of their symptoms were included. k-means consensus clustering identified two clusters of OAB patients: a urinary cluster and a systemic cluster. The systemic cluster, which consisted of about half of the cohort (48%), was characterized by significantly higher psychosocial burden of anxiety (HADS-A, 9.5 vs. 3.7, p < 0.001), depression (HADS-D, 6.9 vs. 3.6, p < 0.001), psychological stress (PSS, 21.4 vs. 12.9, p < 0.001), somatic symptom burden (PSPS-Q, 28.0 vs. 7.5, p < 0.001), and reported exposure to traumatic stress as a child (CTES, 17.0 vs. 5.4, p < 0.001), compared to the urinary cluster. The systemic cluster also reported more intense bladder pain (3.3 vs. 0.8, p = 0.002), more widespread distribution of pain (34.8% vs. 4.0%, p = 0.009). The systemic cluster had worse urinary incontinence (ICIQ-UI, 14.0 vs. 10.7, p = 0.028) and quality of life (SF-36, 43.7 vs. 74.6, p < 0.001). The two clusters were indistinguishable by their urgency symptoms (ICIQ-OAB, OAB-q, IUSS, 0–10 ratings). The two OAB clusters were different from patients with IC/BPS (worse urgency incontinence and less pain). Conclusions: The OAB population is heterogeneous and symptom-based clustering has identified two clusters of OAB patients (a systemic cluster vs. a bladder cluster). Understanding the pathophysiology of OAB subtypes may facilitate treatments.




Gross, J., Vetter, J. M., & Lai, H. H. (2021). Clustering of patients with overactive bladder syndrome. BMC Urology, 21(1).

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free