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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 42, Number 1, January/February 2005
Pages 109 — 114


Abstract - Short-term timecourse of bilateral pudendal nerve injury on leak-point pressure in female rats

Helen Ahn, MD;1 Dan Li Lin, MD;1-2 Nereida Esparza;2 Margot S. Damaser, PhD1-2*

1Department of Urology, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL; 2Research Service, Hines Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines, IL
Abstract — The pudendal nerve innervates the external urethral sphincter and, when injured, can contribute to incontinence development. This experiment was designed to study the time course of functional changes in the urethra after pudendal nerve crush in rats. Leak-point pressure (LPP) was measured 2, 4, 7, or 14 days after bilateral pudendal nerve crush and was compared to that of a control group. LPP at all four time points after nerve injury was significantly decreased compared to control values. A minimum was reached 4 days after injury, and LPP appeared to trend upward with increasing time after injury, suggesting that nerve function may begin to recover or compensatory changes in the urethra may occur. Pudendal nerve crush induces decreased LPP in female rats, mimicking the clinical symptoms of stress incontinence. When fully characterized, this model could be useful for preclinical testing of treatment and rehabilitation protocols.
Key words: female, incontinence, leak-point pressure, nerve injury, pudendal nerve, rat, urethra.

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