Classification of male lower urinary tract symptoms using mathematical modelling and a regression tree algorithm of noninvasive near-infrared spectroscopy parameters

Eur Urol. 2010 Feb;57(2):327-32. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 May 13.


Background: Assessment of bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is standard clinical practice in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). This is currently achieved through pressure-flow studies. Research indicates that progressive functional impairment of the bladder due to BOO is associated with haemodynamic changes. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an optical method of monitoring tissue oxygenation and haemodynamics via changes in concentration of the chromophores oxyhaemoglobin (O(2)Hb) and deoxyhaemoglobin (HHb).

Objective: To report a noninvasive technique and mathematic method of analysis for assessment of BOO in male subjects using NIRS and to test the independent ability of NIRS data to distinguish between patients with and without obstruction using a classification and regression tree algorithm (CART).

Design, setting, and participants: A prospective cohort study to evaluate subjects presenting for urodynamic assessment of LUTS using standard urodynamic studies with simultaneous transcutaneous NIRS monitoring. The NIRS data (magnitude and pattern of changes in O(2)Hb and HHb) were analysed, and a CART algorithm was constructed. Sixty-four males referred for evaluation of LUTS were studied at a tertiary care, university-based research and clinical facility.

Measurements: Clinical symptoms were classified using the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). Pressure-flow studies were done with simultaneous transcutaneous NIRS monitoring of the detrusor. Pressure-flow studies were classified according to the Abrams-Griffiths nomogram. NIRS data documented changes in the concentration of the chromophores O(2)Hb and HHb.

Results and limitations: IPSS scores ranged from 12 to 34, with a mean of 19. The pressure-flow nomogram found 30 patients with BOO, 16 patients without BOO, and 18 patients with equivocal results. The CART found a misclassification error of 4% with 88% specificity and 94% precision. The NIRS instrument and algorithm were new; no asymptomatic subjects were studied.

Conclusion: Using a CART algorithm, noninvasive NIRS data during voiding had independent discriminatory ability related to classification of BOO.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatism / classification*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
  • Urinary Bladder Neck Obstruction / classification*