Neuromodulation (nerve stimulation) can produce analgesia. One form, bilateral pudendal nerve stimulation (bPNS), suppresses responses to urinary bladder distension (UBD) in hypersensitive rats. Drugs can modify this effect (eg, benzodiazepines, but not opioids, suppress bPNS effects). Prior to a clinical trial of bPNS effects on bladder pain, we felt it was prudent to survey the effects of medications commonly used in patients with bladder disorders.
Bladder hypersensitivity was produced by neonatal bladder inflammation in rat pups coupled with a second inflammatory insult as an adult. Antimuscarinic (oxybutynin), β3 -adrenoceptor agonist (mirabegron, CL316243), α1 -adrenoceptor antagonist (tamsulosin), antidepressant (amitriptyline), muscle relaxing (baclofen), and sedative (propofol) agents were administered and effects of bPNS on responses to UBD assessed. bPNS consisted of bilateral biphasic electrical stimulation of the mixed motor/sensory component of the pudendal nerves. Visceromotor responses (VMRs; abdominal muscle contractile responses) were used as nociceptive endpoints.
Many of these drugs directly inhibited the VMRs to UBD, but only mirabegron, at the doses employed, significantly reduced inhibitory effects of bPNS. In the presence of the other drugs, bPNS continued to produce statistically significant inhibition of VMRs to UBD.
This study suggests that concurrent therapy with drugs used to treat bladder disorders could affect assessment of the effects of bPNS on bladder hypersensitivity. This study gives guidance to clinical trials using bPNS for the treatment of painful bladder syndromes and suggests potential clinical use of some of these medications in the treatment of these same disorders.
Neurourology and urodynamics. 2020 Apr 24 [Epub ahead of print]
Timothy J Ness, Jamie McNaught, Buffie Clodfelder-Miller, Xin Su
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama., Global Neuromodulation Research, Medtronic, Inc.