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The Use of Uroflowmetry as a Diagnostic Test.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Uroflowmetry is widely used for initial non-invasive evaluation of lower urinary tract disorders. Current clinical use is mostly restricted to a scrutiny of the maximum flow rate and uroflow pattern recorded by a conventional flowmeter in a health care facility. There are several advancements in our understanding and in available technologies that promise to transform clinical utilization of this simple test.

RECENT FINDINGS: Several aspects of the uroflow test in addition to maximum flow rate and uroflow pattern show potential diagnostic utility. This includes flow acceleration, uroflow indices, uroflow-electromyography including lag time, stop uroflow test, and uroflow-based nomograms. There are initial attempts to use artificial intelligence in analysis. There is also new data with regard to factors influencing variability of uroflow testing that might influence the diagnostic value in as yet uncertain ways including diurnal variability, postural variability, locational variability, and operator variability. There are new technologies for uroflow testing in a home environment allowing for easy repetition. However, there are several challenges owing to a paucity of clinical data and standardization. There are also critical lacunae in terminology that need to be addressed. There are exciting new advancements in the field of uroflowmetry. However, there is need to standardize and validate the newer uroflow tracing analyses and technologies.

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