The Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network (LURN)

In 2012, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) created the Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network (LURN) to address gaps in understanding and treating lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). LURN is an interdisciplinary consortium-based cooperative research network made up of six clinical research sites and one data coordinating center that aims to change the way we study and treat patients with LUTS. In a newly published paper in the Journal of Urology, the LURN study team presents an overview of the network’s goals.

Reflecting a growing appreciation that the causes of LUTS are perhaps more numerous than once thought, LURN investigators have selected four levels on which to focus: patient experience, organism or systemic factors, genitourinary organs and tissues, and cellular/molecular factors.

LURN has four main goals:

  1. Identify and explain the important subtypes of LUTS 
  2. Improve the measurement of patient experiences of LUTS 
  3. Disseminate novel findings to researchers, clinicians, and patients 
  4. Generate data, research tools, and biological samples for future studies

For the first of these goals, LURN has begun to examine disorders of urinary sensation (e.g., urgency) and their causes, a departure from most prior research. This will be achieved via an observational cohort study that is currently enrolling patients with LUTS.

LURN has made progress toward the second goal by beginning to develop and evaluate a comprehensive set of self-report questions to provide more detailed information about symptoms and develop a framework for studying LUTS subtypes. Improved self-reported measurements can advance individualized approaches to classifying and treating patients.

Future studies are planned within the initial observational cohort to focus on neuroimaging and sensory testing, biomarkers, and organ-based factors. LURN is considering a broad range of dissemination strategies to facilitate change in LUTS study and treatment, including the study website (, where you can find more information about this study.

CITATION:Yang CC, Weinfurt KP, Merion RM, Kirkali Z; LURN Study Group. Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network. J Urol. 2016; 196:146-152.
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