WCE 2016: Precise Characterization and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Autonomic Nerve Distribution of the Human Ureter - Session Highlights

Cape Town, South Africa (UroToday.com) Dr. Okhunov and colleagues at the University of California, Irvine, hypothesized that ureteral innervation differs between sexes, and therefore sought to determine the overall distribution of the autonomic nerves along the length of the human ureter.
Their approach consisted of creating three-dimensional (3D) models of 12 human cadaveric ureters (3 pairs from males, and 3 pairs from females) using specialized 3D design software (Blender™) from immunohistochemically stained ureter slices. This allowed them to quantify the nerve densities in the various regions of the ureter.

They found that the density of nerves within the ureteral adventitia and smooth muscle increased from proximal to distal ureter, with a particularly high concentration of nerves at the ureterovesical junction and distal ureter. Additionally, they reported that nerve density was greater in the adventitia than the smooth muscle. This finding was particularly pronounced in females compared to males.

Dr. Okhunov stated that his department is currently expanding this area of research by trying to further delineate the nerve fibers in the hopes of developing targeted therapy for conditions like ureteral stent pain and for procedures such as ureteral access sheath placement.

Presented by:
Zhamshid Okhunov¹, Simone L. Vernez¹, Jamie Wikenheiser², Cyrus Khoyilar¹, Renai Yoon¹, Rahul Dutta¹, Kathryn Osann¹, Kamaljot Kaler¹, Ramy F. Youssef¹, Thomas Lee³, Jaime Landman¹

¹University of California, Irvine, USA, Department of Urology
²University of California, Irvine, USA, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
³University of California, Irvine, USA, Department of Pathology

Written By: Shoaib Safiullah, MS4 at The Chicago Medical School, LIFT Urology research fellow

34th World Congress of Endourology and SAUA meeting - November 7-12, 2016 – Cape Town, South Africa