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Effective methods of pelvic plexus nerve and bladder stimulation in anesthetized animal model

Larissa Bresler, MD, et al.

Figure. Study electrodes. (a) Barb electrode with 8 mm exposed wire bent back and placed in 20-gauge needle. (b) Probe electrode with 8 mm exposed needle. (c) Peterson Intramuscular Electrode with 5 mm exposed wire and polypropylene barb placed in 18-gauge needle.

Urinary retention is a serious urological problem associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) and some pelvic disorders. Effective methods of electrical stimulation of the pelvic plexus nerves near the bladder wall were investigated to manage this difficult problem. Results in an anesthetized animal model showed that a barb electrode could be implanted with a needle close to the bladder nerves. The best electrode configurations were on both sides of the bladder and bipolar (two electrodes close together). Stimulating parameters that induced strong bladder contractions without unwanted skeletal muscle activation were shown. Further investigations of direct bladder stimulation methods are warranted, especially since barb electrodes can be tested and implanted with minimally invasive techniques. These investigations may lead to improved methods of bladder emptying following SCI.

Volume 45 Number 4, 2008
   Pages 627 — 638

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