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Differential Diagnosis of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
and Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI)
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI)
SymptomsInvoluntary loss of urine associated with sneezing, coughing, laughing, lifting, or exercisingInvoluntary leakage accompanied by or immediately preceded by urgency
CausesInsufficient urethral closureUncontrolled bladder contractions
ReceptorsSerotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) receptorsCholinergic muscarinic receptors
Common Diagnostic IndicatorsMore likely to be SUI:
  • Leaks urine upon sneezing, coughing, laughing, lifting, or exercising
  • Positive cough stress test
  • Positive stress pad test
More likely to be UUI:
  • Leaks urine accompanied by urgency, or uncontrollable voiding with little or no warning beforehand
  • Negative cough stress test
  • Negative stress pad test
Urodynamic Diagnosis
  • Results of urodynamic studies indicative of SUI
  • Results of urodynamic studies indicative of UUI

information last updated on November, 2006

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