Testing & Diagnosis for Voiding Dysfunction in Children

How is voiding dysfunction diagnosed?

If your child is experiencing the symptoms described above, it’s likely that he’ll be referred to a pediatric urologist for evaluation. The urologist will most likely take a history of your child's voiding patterns and may ask you to create a voiding diary. This is perhaps the most important component of correctly diagnosing a dysfunctional voiding pattern.

This is usually followed by a thorough physical examination, urinalysis and urine culture. Radiologic and urodynamic evaluation (a detailed study of bladder function) may be used to both confirm the diagnosis of a dysfunctional voiding pattern and to document its aftereffects.

Further evaluation of the urinary tract is dictated by the severity and character of your child’s symptoms. Some of the tests your child’s doctor may recommend are the following:

  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) — A specific x-ray that examines well your child’s urinary tract. The images will show if there is any reverse flow of urine into the ureters and kidneys.

  • Radionuclide cystogram (RNC) — An RNC is similar to a VCUG except a different fluid is used to highlight well your child’s urinary tract.

  • Renal ultrasound —The test is used to determine the size and shape of well your child’s kidney, and to detect a mass, kidney stone, cyst or other obstruction or abnormalities.

  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) — An IVP reveals the rate and path of urine flow through the urinary tract.

  • Blood tests — To see how well your child’s kidneys are working.