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Data quality and documentation of variance are key for urodynamics studies to be valid, and symptoms must be reproduced to be able to make a diagnosis. Accurate reporting requires knowledge of pathophysiological parameters and the ability to detect artefacts. If inaccuracies are discovered, they should be corrected contemporaneously. Spurious and inaccurate observations are known as artefacts. The Oxford dictionary defines artefacts as something observed in a scientific investigation or experiment that is not naturally present but occurs as a result of the preparative or investigative procedure.’
Artefacts during uroflowmetry may arise owing to several factors, which can be broadly classified into two groups: extracorporeal and intracorporeal. Recommendations to minimise uroflowmetry artefacts include ensuring privacy, checking the report and tracing immediately, correcting artefacts manually and checking that the void was representative of normal. Initial quality checks will prevent the majority of artefacts. Artefacts may arise during the voiding phase owing to displacement of the vesical or rectal pressure transducer or inadequate pressure transmission. Artefacts are spurious and inaccurate urodynamic observations. Artefacts at uroflowmetry are minimised by checking calibration regularly and asking the patient to void normally in private. Artefacts during cystometry can be minimised by zeroing transducers to atmospheric pressure, expelling air bubbles and checking for good subtraction with cough testing before filling, at 1-minute intervals during filling and before and after voiding.
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