Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an independent risk factor for overactive bladder (OAB). The pathophysiology of DM-associated OAB is multifactorial and time-dependent. Diabetic bladder dysfunction is highly associated with diabetic complications, mainly including diabetic neuropathy and atherosclerosis. Chronic systemic inflammation and bladder urothelial inflammation may contribute to the onset of OAB. Intravesical botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A) injection has proved to be a successful treatment for idiopathic and neurogenic OAB. BoNT-A can inhibit the efferent pathways of the bladder as well as the chronic inflammation and hypersensitivity via the afferent pathways. We conducted a review of the published literature in Pubmed using a combination of two keywords, namely “botulinum toxin A” (BoNT-A) and “overactive bladder”, with or without the additional keywords “detrusor overactivity”, “diabetes mellitus”, “inflammation”, and “urodynamic study”. We also reviewed the experience of our research teams, who have published several studies of the association between DM and OAB. Since limited data support the effectiveness and safety of BoNT-A for treating patients with DM-associated OAB, a comprehensive evaluation of diabetic complications and urodynamic study is needed before treatment. In the future, it is imperative to explore the clinical characteristics and inflammatory biomarkers of diabetes as determining predictors of the treatment efficacy.
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