Objective assessment of the flow of urine is critical in many situations. To assess the same the investigation called uroflowmetry is often asked for. In this investigation, which is essentially painless the patient has to void in funnel which is attached to a sensor that assesses the rate of flow. The machine also creates a graph which suggests whether on not the pattern of flow is normal.
What are the prerequisites for this test ?
Before performing a uroflowmetry test, we need to keep the following things in mind:
The test is meant to check the normal flow of urine. It is not a competition and there is absolutely no need to force urine out by straining or other means to get a good report. The report should not misguide us that the condition is actually better than it is. Uroflowmetry is done to check how you void normally so make sure that you void normally during this test like you always do.
The test reports are valid only when a good volume of 100-150 ml has been voided. Make sure that your bladder is adequately full. On the other hand, do not try to excessively hold urine.
What all information can this test provide ?
Uroflowmetry can tell about the rate of flow of urine and the pattern of flow along with information such as volume of urine voided and the average flow rate.
Normally the urine flow should follow a bell shaped curve with a progressive increase in the rate of flow followed by a peak and then a gradual decline.
In patients with prostatic enlargement the curve does not reach a peak and the duration of the graph is prolonged.
In patients with neurogenic or a weak bladder the flow pattern may be in the form of multiple peaks that touch the baseline. It is quiet similar to that of an obstructed flow, except that in obstruction due to stricture or prostate the graph does not touch the baseline
In patients with stricture we typically see a plateau shaped graph.
The normal maximal flow rate of urine in males is 15 ml/sec and in females it is 20 ml/sec. If the maximal flow rate in your case is less than this value then it may be suggestive of an underlying abnormality which needs to be further investigated.
How frequently is this test indicated if there is a problem ?
Uroflowmetry is occasionally done serially to follow the progress of a case. In patients with stricture the uroflowmetry is a very essentially tool to monitor recurrence of stricture, while in patients with prostatic enlargement it may be used to follow up and titrate medical therapy or take a call for surgery. In neurogenic bladder patients uroflowmetry is needed only for the initial diagnosis and may not be required serially.
What are the timings when these tests can be done ?
Uroflowmetry is available at Jyoti Hospital and Urology Center during the entire day. Only in rare circumstances when there is a camp or maintenance is scheduled is the machine not available for testing. On all other occasions you can get his test done from 9 AM to 8PM on all days including Sundays.