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Volume 45 Number 4, 2008
   Pages 627 — 638

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

Larissa Bresler, MD;1-2 James S. Walter, PhD;2-3* Andrew Jahoda, MD;1-2 John S. Wheeler, MD;1-2 Thomas Turk, MD;1-2 Robert D. Wurster, PhD2,4

1Section of Urology, Edward Hines Jr Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital, Hines, IL; 2Department of Urology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL; 3Research Service, Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital, Hines, IL; 4Departments of Neurological Surgery and Physiology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL

Abstract — Urinary retention is a serious urological problem associated with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and other pelvic disorders. Effective methods of pelvic nerve stimulation were investigated for this problem. Following anesthesia in five dogs, the bladder was surgically exposed. Bladder and anal sphincter pressures were recorded. Testing was first conducted with probe electrodes. Barb electrodes were then implanted with a needle near the pelvic plexus nerves and the bladder wall. We tested different electrode arrangements and stimulating parameters to induce bladder contractions without skeletal muscle stimulation. The pelvic plexus nerves near the bladder were identified, and the barb electrodes were effectively implanted. Stimulation with bipolar and bilateral electrodes induced pressures over 30 cmH2O without skeletal muscle activation. Common stimulation parameters were 40 pps, 400 microseconds pulse duration, and 15 to 25 mA stimulating current applied for 3 s. Effective electrode implantation methods were shown. Also identified were electrode arrangements and stimulating parameters that induced strong bladder contractions without skeletal muscle activation. However, voiding studies were not conducted. Further studies with barb electrodes are warranted, and these methods may have applications for bladder stimulation following SCI.

Key words: dog, electrical stimulation, pelvic plexus nerves, spinal cord injuries, urinary bladder, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary tract physiology, urination disorders, urodynamic.

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