Electrical stimulation of the urethra evokes bladder contractions and emptying in spinal cord injury men: Case studies - Abstract

Carolinas Rehabilitation, Urology Department, Charlotte, NC, USA.


Electrical stimulation of the urethra can evoke bladder contractions in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). The objective of this study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of the urethra could evoke bladder contractions that empty the bladder.

The first patient was a 45-year-old man with a T6 ASIA A SCI secondary to a gunshot wound 15 years prior. The second patient was a 51-year-old man with a T2 ASIA A SCI secondary to a fall from scaffolding 2 years prior. Both patients demonstrated neurogenic detrusor overactivity on urodynamics and managed their bladder with clean intermittent catheterization and oxybutynin medication. Following informed consent, each patient discontinued oxybutynin 2 days prior to urodynamic testing. Urodynamics were performed with a custom 12 French balloon catheter mounted with ring-shaped electrodes (3 mm) positioned in the prostatic urethra. After filling the bladder to approximately three-fourth of capacity at a rate of 25 ml/minute, the urethra was stimulated with a range of parameters to determine whether electrical stimulation could evoke a bladder contraction and empty the bladder.

Electrical stimulation of the prostatic urethra evoked bladder contractions (peak detrusor pressures of 60-80 cm H(2)O) that emptied the bladder in both subjects. In the first subject, stimulation (9-12 mA, 20 Hz) emptied 64-75%, leaving post-void residual volumes (PVRs) of 41-20 ml. In the second subject, stimulation (20 mA, 20 Hz) emptied 68-77%, leaving PVRs of 56-45 ml.

Urethral stimulation evoked bladder emptying in persons with SCI.

Written by:
Kennelly MJ, Bennett ME, Grill WM, Grill JH, Boggs JW.   Are you the author?

Reference: J Spinal Cord Med. 2011;34(3):315-21.
doi: 10.1179/2045772311Y.0000000012

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21756572

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