The Incidence of New or Worsening OAB Symptoms in Patients With Prior SARS COV-2 Infection

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

Journal of Urology



Investigators from our institution were the first US group to identify de novo genitourinary symptoms, such as frequency, urgency, nocturia, and pain/pressure, in individuals with prior COVID-19 infection. They termed this condition COVID-19 associated cystitis (CAC). Our study aims to establish the incidence of worsening or de-novo CAC, and to determine the correlation of CAC with serology status and antibody levels.


After IRB approval, 19,128 individuals from the largest COVID-19 serology study (BLAST COVID Study Group) were invited to participate in a follow-up study, with 1,895 subsequent respondents. Participants were retrospectively asked to score their OAB symptoms at three different time points: prior to the pandemic, 2 months after COVID-19 infection (if applicable), and at the present time. Genitourinary symptoms were assessed using the ICIQ-OAB.


Of the 1,895 participants, 81.7% (n=1,548) were female, 16.5% male (n=312), 1.9% other/unknown (n=35). Most were Caucasian (85.8%), followed by African American (4.1%), Asian (3.8%), and Hispanic (1.4%). A third of participants (n=605) were COVID-19 positive as defined by positive serology or PCR test. Of these, 492 had 2 months post infection data with 36.4% (n=179/492) reporting an increase of ≥1 unit on the ICIQ-OAB compared to pre-pandemic. Out of these, 22% (n=40/179) were de novo. Comparing pre-pandemic to present symptoms, 35.7% (n=219) of participants with prior COVID-19 infection had an increase of ≥1 unit on the ICIQ-OAB, compared to 15.7% (n=202) of uninfected patients (OR: 2.99, 99.6Cl, 2.21, 4.05, p (r=-0.10)and were weakly correlated in those with a positive serology test (r= 0.14).


In this study, we demonstrate that patients infected with COVID-19 are at increased risk for developing new or worsening OAB symptoms. No correlation was found between antibody levels and OAB symptoms in patients with prior COVID-19 infection. Participants are being followed prospectively to assess the progression of OAB symptoms in patients with CAC.




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American Urological Association Annual Meeting, May 13-16, 2022, New Orleans, LA.

International Continence Society Annual Meeting, September 7-10, 2022, Vienna, Austria.

Robert LH, Zwaans B, Chancellor M, Peters K, Padmanabhan P. The incidence of new or worsening OAB symptoms in patients with prior SARS COV-2 infection. Continence. 2022 Jun;2(Suppl 2):100364. doi:10.1016/j.cont.2022.100364.