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Nervous system ORGAN SYSTEMS

Hinman syndrome (HS)

Voiding dysfunction of the bladder of neuropsychological origin that is characterized by functional bladder outlet obstruction in the absence of neurologic deficits.

Voiding dysfunction of the bladder of neuropsychological origin that is characterized by functional bladder outlet obstruction in the absence of neurologic deficits.

  • Also called non-neurogenic neurogenic bladder

Aetiology

Psychological causation:

The syndrome is caused by acquired behavioral and psychological disorders manifested by bladder dysfunction mimicking neurologic disease.

HS is associated with abnormal family dynamics in 50% cases. Individuals under psychosocial pressure try to inhibit enuresis by voluntarily contracting the external sphincter. These voluntary contractions lead to an obstruction of the urinary tract, characterized by an intermittent stream, increased residual urine and increased intravesicular pressure. The resultant destruction of the urinary tract simulates true neurogenic bladder.


Clinical features

The syndrome typically occurs in early to late childhood but some adult cases have been observed. It typically manifests at some point after toilet training in early to late childhood.

  • Enuresis
  • Urgent voiding with incontinence
  • Infrequent voiding
  • Intermittency
  • Straining
  • Diffuse abdominal pain

Complications:

  • Trabeculated bladder
  • Ureterovesical obstruction
  • Dilation of the upper tracts
  • Renal damage
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on the presence of the clinical and radiographic manifestations of neurogenic bladder in the absence of an underlying neurogenic abnormality. The diagnosis of HS should be considered at uroradiography in any child with unexplained bladder trabeculations, residual urine, incontinence or posterior urethral distention. The observation of posterior urethral distention following voluntary contraction of the external sphincter using a voiding cystourethrogram is suggestive of the condition.

Differential diagnosis:

  • Neurogenic bladder: HS can be differentiated from neurogenic bladder by 5 criteria. It is important to distinguish between true neurogenic bladder and HS because true neurogenic bladder requires surgery:
    • Intact perineal sensation and anal tone
    • Normal anatomy and function of the lower extremities
    • Absence of skin lesions overlying the sacrum
    • Normal lumbosacral spine at plain radiography
    • Normal spinal cord and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Enuresis
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Management

Treatment for HS focuses on helping the child void normally through alleviating psychosocial pressures which are likely to be causing the problem with voiding through suggestion therapy including hypnosis, bladder retraining and timed voiding. Catheterization may be used if the bladder does not empty completely and if the bladder has uninhibited contractions. Antispasmodic drugs may be of benefit. Occasionally external sphincterotomy is required.

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